Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hosted a 90-minute breakfast meeting July 25 with members of the Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force. The Task Force was created by President Trump’s Executive Order of April 25, 2017, with Secretary Perdue serving as chairman.
“We’re synchronizing departments and agencies across the federal government so that citizens can truly believe that their government can work faster, friendlier, and easier,” Perdue said.
The meeting, held in USDA's Lincoln Dining Room, included Perdue, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. Also in attendance were representatives from the White House, Treasury, Labor, Justice, Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and USDA staff.
Perdue provided an update on the progress of four working groups, which are gathering recommendations on issues regarding the quality of life in rural America; the rural workforce; innovation, technology, and data; and economic development. The meeting participants held a wide-ranging dialogue, discussing – among other issues – access to broadband, community infrastructure, community mental and physical health, workforce training and veterans’ employment, agricultural research, regulatory reform, improved access to capital, and increased local control of decision-making.
As President Trump’s Executive Order set a 180-day deadline for the issuance of recommendations, the participants agreed to a schedule of future meetings, with a date to make a final report to the White House of late October. The report will recommend concrete action on statutes to be enacted or repealed; regulations to be promulgated, amended, or eliminated; and programs and policies to be implemented, streamlined, or discarded.