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Former Illinois Ag Director and USDA Secretary John Block will turn 82 next week. He is still involved on his family’s Knox County farm, and he also still has a presence in Washington. He is optimistic that appointed USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue will do a good job after his confirmation.

Block says he advised Perdue to build allies within the cabinet, which he quickly learned as he tried to lift the Russian grain embargo. The embargo dramatically hurt US grain prices while Russia found new sources throughout the world.

Block believes farmers will benefit from regulatory relief and hopes the estate tax can be fully repealed. He says the tax code, in general, needs to be simplified.

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