Perdue lauds ‘majesty and variety’ of California ag

U.S. agriculture secretary visited farms in second day of three-day California tour.

The visit, which focused on agriculture, trade, and immigration policy, consisted of stops in Fresno and Kern County.

Congressman David G. Valadao explained, “As a lifelong dairy farmer, I have spent my life working to understand and overcome the unique challenges that face California farmers. California’s 21st Congressional District is the number one agriculture-producing district in the nation, and ensuring our trade, agriculture, and immigration policy addresses specific regional needs is critical to the Central Valley’s overall success.”

“The majesty and variety of California agriculture amazes me every time I’m here,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “I thank Congressman Valadao for inviting me to his district to get a real flavor of what the agricultural production is like in California. I look forward to working with him on issues of importance including trade, the Farm Bill, labor, regulations, and beyond.”


In Kingsburg, Secretary Sonny Perdue joined Congressman David Valadao for a tour of HMC Farms and a roundtable with local producers, processors, and trade associations representatives. Participants included representatives from the California Farm Bureau, Fresno County, Blue Diamond Growers, California Dairies, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’ Lakes, National Raisin Company, The Wonderful Company. Campos Brothers Farms, Harris Ranch, HMC Farms, Setton Farms, California Citrus Mutual, American Pistachio Growers, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, California Fresh Fruit Association, and the California Walnut Board.

‘Open and honest conversation’

Mr. Harold McClarty, Owner of HMC Farms, stated ,”We were pleased to be able to have an open and honest conversation about some of the difficulties the retaliatory tariffs have caused our industry. We look forward to future constructive efforts to ensure that competitiveness and expanding international market access are key Administration priorities.”

Following their visit in Kingsburg, Congressman Valadao and Secretary Perdue hosted another roundtable event in Kern County at Sunview Vineyards in McFarland, California.

Sunview Vineyards Chief Financial Officer, Kent Stephens, said, “Ensuring the needs of the Central Valley’s agriculture industry are heard in Washington is critical to the success of our region. Congressman Valadao knows better than most the unique challenges our agriculture industry faces and we welcome the opportunity to further share these issues with Secretary Perdue.”

Perdue made stops throughout the Central Valley on Tuesday after starting his three-day California swing on Monday in Redding, where he and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke viewed devastation from the Carr Fire and met with local officials and affected residents. He will cap off the trip this morning with a roundtable discussion on wildfires in Southern California.