Sec. Perdue Reflecting on USDA Leadership

During his nearly four years serving as the head of USDA, Sec. Sonny Perdue has had many accomplishments. Some of those include year-round E-15 and repealing WOTUS.

Although he doesn’t have one singular issue, Sec. Perdue said he believes his team at USDA has achieved the goal he set on day one.

“What I said when we came in was we want to be the most efficient, most effective, most customer-focused agency in the federal government, and I believe we’ve strived to do that,” he said during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention. “If you ask farmers up and down the line if we’ve been available, if we’ve been transparent, I believe we’d get a pretty good score on that.”

Earlier this month, USDA unveiled a new web feature, the AskUSDA website. That’s geared toward providing information throughout the entire branch in one place.

“Communication is important,” said Perdue. “We want to be able to communicate directly to farmers and have them [give] feedback directly to us. This bilateral feedback loop we got with farmers.gov and AskUSDA, that will enable them to feel part of what’s happening here, not like takers, but participators in the process of decision making.”

Under his direction, Perdue said he believes the USDA has become more data-driven and science-based.

“We’ve created some dashboards here at USDA that’s amazing,” said Perdue. “We’ve got a platform here where people are able to make data-driven, facts-based decisions rather than ideology.”

Based on his travels as secretary of agriculture, Perdue said the future is bright.

“America is going to be in great hands,” he said. “The resiliency of the American farmer, rancher, producer, tree growers, this is a great country. Everything is going to survive. We’re going to continue to lead the world in biotechnology and agricultural production. The world is going to be better for it because of the American farmer and rancher.”