USDA Secretary Perdue on What Has Surprised Him ... NGFA CEC 2019

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) was keynote speaker Monday, Dec. 9 at the 2019 NGFA Country Elevator Conference (#CEC19) in Indianapolis, IN.

Here is an excerpt of his comments on what has surprised him about working in the USDA during a sit-down Q&A with NGFA President and CEO Randy Gordon.

Randy Gordon: What has been your biggest eye-opener when you went to the department in terms of something that surprised you or amazed you, good or bad?

Sonny Perdue: I'm a constitutionalist. I believe in three branches of government. And I've been in state government, I've been in the legislative branch, and in the executive branch has governor. What I have found in Washington is that we've blurred those lines. I sort of call it a “mother, may I” environment in that way. Congress, they take their oversight responsibilities to an extreme and sort of not so in the legislative branch making the laws.

The other thing was that we have bubble-wrapped ourselves in so much regulation, and I would say what President Trump has done from a deregulatory environment has been as helpful for the economy as the tax policies. I had begun to feel like I was fighting against my federal government in business, and that's not a good place to be.

I think for competence from an investment standpoint, we want to feel like our government's on our side in that way. Certainly having a regulatory environment and a purposeful accountability measure, but not an oppressive, punitive kind of way. And I think that's the culture largely that's been developed, and hopefully we'll continue to do that. So, we're working really hard in that effort.