Secretary Perdue made several stops across Illinois Monday, the first of which was on the Larry and Diane Beaty farm just outside of Rochester. At the event hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau, Perdue and IFB President Rich Guebert spoke with around 50 farmers in attendance. Perdue explains the purpose of his tour across the Midwest is to gather input on the 2018 Farm Bill.
The event allowed central Illinois farmers a chance to talk intimately with the Secretary. One of the main topics of conversation was the continued need for a strong crop insurance program. Shelby County producer, Troy Uphoff, was one of several to bring that up.
Sangamon County farmer, Mark Richert, would like to see some changes to the details of the ARC safety net program. Secretary Perdue feels the primary goal of any program should allow farmers to farm for the markets...not the program.
In addition to the 2018 Farm Bill, Secretary Perdue touched on several other topics during the hour long discussion. Some of those were the importance of trade and the renegotiating of NAFTA; the repeal of the controversial Waters of the U.S. regulations; and the importance of strong conservation programs. Perdue expects to see Congress begin real work on the 2018 Farm Bill later this year.