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January 19, 2017

Western Growers Statement on Perdue Being Named USDA Secretary Nominee

IRVINE, Calif., (January 19, 2017) — In response to President–elect Donald J. Trump naming Sonny Perdue as the nominee to head the Department of Agriculture, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:

“We support the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture and congratulate him on gaining the confidence of President-elect Trump. Over the course of Governor Perdue’s career, he has proven to be a consummate champion for agriculture and will undoubtedly serve our industry well in this capacity. We look forward to working with the Governor to develop and implement the public policy priorities of the fresh produce industry.

While the secretary’s importance to agriculture is obvious, Governor Perdue will assume the role at a particularly vital time as our country reengages in a discussion about the future of our immigration system. Reform is essential to the long-term viability of American agriculture, which is unique among industries that rely on foreign workers in that our labor needs cannot be met by domestic workers. Foreign hands will harvest our crops, either here or abroad. It is our hope that once confirmed, Governor Perdue will be a relentless advocate for immigration reform that works for agriculture and will present our case to the president, other key cabinet members and members of Congress who will be engaged in future negotiations.

Additionally, we are confident that Governor Perdue will continue the legacy of past secretaries and drive forward other agricultural priorities in areas such as trade, the farm bill, nutrition, research funding and the environment.

On behalf of the nearly 2,500 Western Growers members who collectively grow more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, we congratulate Governor Perdue on his nomination as Secretary of Agriculture and wish him a speedy confirmation process.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries so people have year-round access to nutritious food. For generations, we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.