Source: Gary Brock videoU.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue talks with staff and students at Central State University Thursday, April 5 during his visit to Ohio.
WILBERFORCE — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited Greene County, April 5 and fielded questions from agriculture students, including some on the hot topic of the U.S. trade war with China.
“The president has told me personally that he’s not going to allow farmers to bear the brunt and to be the victims of trade disputes here,” Perdue said, referring to recent tariffs China put on steel and aluminum, and the issue of China stealing U.S. intellectual property, including agricultural property.
Perdue visited with students and faculty of Central State Universityduring his “Back to Our Roots” RV Tour. While there he went on a tour of the university’s College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture. He also answered students’ questions during a roundtable discussion.
When a student asked how he thinks the trade war issue with China will affect agriculture, Perdue said that President Trump is “acting in the best interest of America, generally, as he acknowledges that a major economy of the world is not playing by the right rules.”
Perdue added that China has violated the rules of fair trade for the past 17 or 18 years “without anyone calling a hand on it.”
“If companies want to do business in China, they’ve been forced to give them the code and the secrets of their company in order to have access to that market,” Perdue said. “That’s exactly what Trump is trying to stop.”
Students and Greene County CSU Extension agents presented their programs and research to Perdue. Fred Hayes, a third-year student at CSU, talked about his ecology research on wetlands and species conservation. Hayes said that Perdue “is in tune and has a knowledge for agriculture.”
“The future of agriculture is bright,” Perdue said as he provided answers to students inquiring about future agricultural careers, agricultural policies, women in agriculture and the pros and cons of working in the agricultural industry. Perdue added that they should consider Ag communication and research services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Overall I was very impressed with the campus, the administration and the spirit here of learning and problem-solving,” Perdue said. “Agriculture is the source of our nutrition, the source of our health. That’s why colleges and educations and universities like this are so integral to the research and the extension of that knowledge throughout the productive supply chain.”
On his “Back to Our Roots” RV Tour, Perdue also visited other locations in Ohio, as well as in Michigan and Kentucky.