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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7ca0000Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @HarvestPM.

Midwest Farmers Hope New Ag Secretary Advocates For Trade

Bruce Tuten, flickr Creative Commons
Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue

President-elect Donald Trump named former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as his pick for Secretary of Agriculture on Thursday. Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted reports on what it means for farmers in the Midwest.

If confirmed, Perdue will have to take on a new farm bill, immigration issues and the big whammy: trade.

Blake Hurst, a farmer and president of the Missouri farm Bureau, says Midwest farmers hope Perdue will be amenable to learning more about their interests. He wants Perdue to understand the importance of trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to Midwest producers.

"Our agriculture’s best interests may not always line up with the Trump administration's, so I am hoping that he will be an advocate for trade and increasing trade," Hurst says.

Agriculture exports accounted for more than $130 billion in 2015.