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HIGHLIGHTS OF AG SEC'Y SPEECH AT COMMODITY CLASSIC
National Sorghum Producers report:

After being confirmed the prior week, Agriculture Tom Secretary Vilsack hit the ground running. He has addressed a series of farm groups and offered interviews to news outlets.

In a speech to the National Farmers Union, Secretary Vilsack made a pitch for the importance of climate policy in the context of creating new markets and revenue streams for farmers through markets for carbon sequestration, turning farm waste into new products, and using traditional USDA programs to incentivize farmers to use climate-smart practices.

Vilsack also said he is determined that trade agreements will be vigorously enforced and that he plans to speak with the top agriculture officials in Canada and Mexico this week to tell them that the United States will insist that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade will be enforced "to the letter."

Separately, in an interview with Politico, Vilsack called for expanding technical assistance to help smaller and socially disadvantaged farmers gain access to new and existing USDA programs. He pointed to the coronavirus relief package working its way through Congress, which includes billions of dollars in financial relief and technical aid targeted toward such producers.

"There are four components here: debt relief, land access, markets and technical assistance," Vilsack said. "And all four of them have to be addressed in order for us to basically create a more equitable system."


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