Current Week

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

November 16, 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Last week, I attended the Farm Broadcasters Annual Convention in Kansas City. Over the last 35 years, I have attended almost all of the NAFB events. This year’s convention attracted a near-record crowd. It was very exciting.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spoke and took questions from the audience for more than an hour. He reminded us why Secretaries of Agriculture rarely miss the convention. It is the perfect opportunity to communicate his message across the country.

I also was at the Ag Roundtable luncheon this week here in Washington, D.C. where Steven Censky, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture spoke. Having had the chance to hear from the Secretary and Deputy, both of them in the past week, I can say they have strong support from the ag industry. We are convinced that they have our backs. Their priority issues are our priority issues.

Trade – “We need to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement, but do no harm,” according to Secretary Perdue. He expressed his frustration with Europe and their many barriers to our exports. He made clear that a bilateral agreement with the UK can be negotiated.

Farm Bill – Congress needs to get it done. The current bill will carry us through next year. My experience is that farm bills never get done until the last minute. We can hope to have a bill by the end of next year. Secretary Perdue said, “The 2018 bill will be evolutionary – not revolutionary.”

Immigration – agriculture needs the labor to pick the strawberries, milk the cows, and butcher the hogs. The Secretary said the Administration understands that. Congress is working on legislation to provide legal labor for our industry. They need to hurry and get it done.

Infrastructure – Deputy Secretary Censky made clear the priority the Trump Administration has for locks and dams, roads and bridges, and seaports.

Tax reform – That is the hottest piece of legislation out here right now. The House and Senate need to pass their tax bills. The bills will not be the same. Then they need to be negotiated, and if a final bill can be put together and pass both the House and Senate, President Trump will sign it. The goal is to pass tax reform before Christmas. Good luck.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.

Previous Weeks

Trade

February 2 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I want to focus on trade today. From agriculture’s perspective, it is extremely important. 25% of ag income comes from products sold to other countries. Production from 1 out of every 3 acres is exported.…

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Perdue as Ag Secretary

January 26 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I am calling this program in on the telephone from Florida. You know what farmers work so hard for – “corn, beans, and Florida.” The news of the day is that Donald Trump is President.…

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Barack Hussein Obama – a Retrospective

January 19 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

Until next week, I am Rick Frank for John Block from Washington, D.C.

And now for today’s commentary— 

As we prepare to launch the Trump Administration, I thought it useful…

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Priorities for 2017

January 12 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

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We know some people are not happy to see Donald Trump move into the White House.  However, many others are very excited.  Just go to rural America.  Farmers, ranchers, and most red…

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Last Minute Executive Orders

January 5 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

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Since 1981, I have seen, watched, and participated in a number of changes of power in the White House.  President Obama committed to a smooth transition of power to PresidentElect…

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New Year 2017

December 28 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

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The new year is upon us.  2017, like any new year, presents many unknowns – perhaps even more this year.  I want to review where we are at today and look at where we may be going next…

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Merry Christmas

December 22 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

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Merry Christmas to everyone out there.  This is the most celebrated holiday of the year and has been since our nation was founded.  It seems like so many things come together and change…

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Vilsak Eight Years

December 14 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

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Last week, I – along with 2 other former Secretaries of Agriculture (Ann Veneman and  Dan Glickman) – attended the portrait unveiling ceremony of Secretary Tom Vilsack at the…

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Trade Undersecretary

December 7 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

There is a lot of talk today abut the next farm bill.  What will be in it?  When will we get it done?  But I think the ag industry should remind the new Secretary of Agriculture when…

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Cuba and More

December 1 2016

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by John Deere, the National Corn Growers Association, and CropLife America.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.  

And now for today’s commentary—  

I want to review a few issues today as we plan our farming operation and look over the horizon at next year’s opportunities and challenges.  U.S. farm income this year is expected to…

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