Jan 23, 2018
LITTLE ROCK, AR – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue started off his day in Arkansas last Friday with a roundtable discussion at the Governor’s Mansion, hosted by Governor Asa Hutchinson and attended by Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward, State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Rice Chairman Jeff Rutledge, and representatives from several other ag organizations.
Following the roundtable discussion, Perdue traveled to Brantley Farms near England. Dow Brantley, former chairman of both USA Rice and Arkansas Rice, gave Perdue a tour of his family’s operation. He also talked with the Secretary about current regulations imposed on farmers and possible ways to streamline the process to improve efficiency for both the producer and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"As the top rice producing state, we appreciate Secretary Perdue's time in Arkansas,” said Brantley. “In addition to touring the farm, we discussed industry priorities including the importance of NAFTA and the development of new markets, namely China. Secretary Perdue understands the significance of these issues and also conveyed his commitment to reducing the regulatory burdens farmers’ face. We look forward to continuing our work together to improve the Arkansas rice industry."
Perdue then visited Riceland Foods in Stuttgart where he toured the mill and had a chance to sit down and talk with farmers and employees from Riceland and nearby Producers Rice Mill.
At the end of the day, Secretary Perdue tweeted, “Always the best way to find out what’s working and what’s not – talk to the producers of American agriculture.”