Back to Our Roots tour address concerns of local farmers

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ALLIANCE, Neb. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made a stop in Nebraska on Thursday for his fourth ‘Back to Our Roots’ tour.

The tour was a way for local farmers, ranchers and attendees to voice concerns and ideas to politicians.

Governor Ricketts joined the discussion where many people spoke their concerns on the future of trade and bank lending, the process with the farm bill and the regulation of meat products.

“When he talks about tell me what farmers are thinking, this is the place to come to,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue, Agriculture. “You got a great AG state here and as you know, most of that beef going to China right now originates right here in Nebraska.”

Secretary Purdue said that the future of the farm bill is being discussed and he hopes to have a vote on it very soon.

Governor Ricketts said that he told the president that China should purchase more beef from Nebraska and expand into other countries including Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and more.

With meat products regulations, Secretary Purdue adds that the meat should be under USDA, not FDA and hopes to get that fixed as soon as possible.

With the talk of bank loan limits, Governor Ricketts said that there should be more guaranteed loans and local farmers hope that credit limits will expand in the future.

“Agriculture is somewhat different from California, Vermont, Georgia and even Washington but the people are pitching the same concerns,” explained Perdue. “It’s the heart of America, it’s the values and the work ethic that grow this country.”

Secretary Purdue and Governor Ricketts said that if we can all work together, we can better the future of agriculture in our communities.