Waiting on Undersecretary for Trade & Foreign Relations


Ag leaders are awaiting a White House pick for the new Department of Agriculture post of Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Ag Relations,

American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen says the new USDA post, focused solely on trade and interaction with other government trade agencies, will be key in getting commodity prices out of the ‘tank’…

“Exports are key, exports move massive amounts of product and helps strengthen prices.  If that’s the way we can do it, that’s what we want to do.”     

Salmonsen says the White House hasn’t sent the Senate a name for the post, yet and that they may still be reviewing candidates, or may be waiting to send up a group of undersecretaries for confirmation.

But the hope is, ag trade will get a USDA advocate soon.

Moderate Temperatures Forecast for June

Last month’s rains washed away any lingering drought in North Carolina and topped off the rain gauges in a particularly wet spring. As we head into the summer months, current forecasts suggest that this June might not see the same persistent heat that we’ve had in recent years. This week a trough is expected to dig down across the east coast, which should bring near-normal or slightly below-normal temperatures.

That amplified jet pattern is reflected in the Climate Prediction Center’s temperature outlook for June, showing below-normal temperatures likely in the west and equal chances for above-, below-, or near-normal temperatures across most of North Carolina. In the longer range, though, expect the summer heat to build as we head into July and August.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue had this statement regarding the US involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement:

“President Trump promised that he would put America first and he has rightly determined that the Paris accord was not in the best interests of the United States.  In addition to costing our economy trillions of dollars and millions of jobs, the accord also represented a willful and voluntary ceding of our national sovereignty.  The agreement would have had negligible impact on world temperatures, especially since other countries and major world economies were not being held to the same stringent standards as the United States.

BPI Lawsuit Against ABC Going to Trial

A lawsuit by Beef Products Inc. alleging defamation by ABC-TV will head to trial this week. BPI is seeking $1.9 billion in the lawsuit against ABC and correspondent Jim Avila for a series of stories the network ran on BPI’s signature product, Lean Finely Textured Beef, which was referred to as “pink slime” in those reports. Jury selection began last week for the lawsuit that will be heard in South Dakota. BPI accuses ABC and Avila of engaging in a disinformation campaign that defamed BPI and Lean Finely Textured Beef, causing consumers to mistakenly believe the product was unsafe and unhealthy. The trial is expected to last two months.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.