The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Farm groups seek undersecretary for trade/foreign a

The House farm bill should include a provision creating an Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, farm groups wrote in a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., last week, according to a news release from the American Soybean Association.

Under current law, one undersecretary supervises the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency and the Foreign Agricultural Service.

The Senate Agriculture Committee included an amendment sponsored by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., to achieve that goal, and the farm groups urged Lucas and Peterson to include it in the chairman’s mark of the House bill.

“An undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs will provide a singular focus on trade and foster more effective coordination of transparent, rules-based trade policies in other USDA agencies,” the groups said. “Such a position will bring unified high level representation to key trade negotiations with senior, foreign officials and within the executive branch.”

The groups signing the letter ranged from the American Farm Bureau Federation to key commodity and meat groups.