Statement of the Fertilizer Institute President Chris Jahn in Support of the Confirmation of Sonny Perdue as the Nation's Next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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March 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn today expressed its support for quick Senate action to confirm Sonny Perdue as the nation's next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"American agriculture needs a strong voice at the helm of USDA, and Sonny Perdue is right for the job. If he is confirmed after today's hearing, he will be only the third secretary of agriculture since 1889 to have farmed for a living. His knowledge of the unique opportunities and obstacles facing agribusiness will be a tremendous asset to the entire agriculture community.

Georgia produces billions of dollars of food and other agricultural crops each year and Gov. Perdue's experience leading the state and his own agribusinesses ensure that he would come to the USDA job with a deep understanding of the role agriculture plays in supporting healthy ecosystems and a robust economy.

Farm profitability depends on many uncontrollable variables such as weather and global market forces. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to ensure that farmers have the best information to manage those factors that are in their control. A strong USDA research agenda will make this possible, and we believe that Gov. Perdue is the right person to lead this effort.

Research in support of 4R Nutrient Stewardship, a science-based framework to aid implementation of fertilizer best management practices on the farm, must be a high priority for USDA. The 4R concepts are being incorporated into USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs, in state nutrient loss reduction strategies and by the Soil Health Institute. While the concepts for 4R implementation are sound, significant information gaps remain on quantifiable economic and environmental impacts of individual and paired 4R practices. While the fertilizer-industry supported 4R Research Fund has dedicated close to $5 million to support this work, the need for competitive grant funds from USDA is still great.

We believe that Gov. Perdue will work with all stakeholders to ensure that American agriculture has the tools necessary to meet the many challenges ahead and continue growing the food, fuel and fiber to feed the world, and we urge the Senate to act quickly and confirm Gov. Sonny Perdue as our next Secretary of Agriculture."

 

About The Fertilizer Institute

 

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation's fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI's membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI's fulltime staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at TFI.org and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI's nutrient stewardship initiatives at nutrientstewardship.org and on Twitter at @4rnutrients