Local FFA members of Hudson had a rare and unique opportunity Monday afternoon to ask the nation’s new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue questions during a virtual town hall meeting via the internet. The Hudson chapter was among six groups of students across the country who were able to interact with Perdue in a meeting transmitted through Google Hangouts.
The online session took place for an hour, starting at 1:00 p.m, originating from the C. S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg, Virginia where Perdue, a farmer and former governor of Georgia stood at a microphone, flanked by the local chapter’s FFA members.
Just last week Secretary of Agriculture Perdue, a former Georgia FFA member, was confirmed as President Trump’s farm chief.
During the town hall meeting, in addition to the Hudson and Leesburg, Virginia FFA chapters, others invited to participate included Memorial High of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Dover High School, Dover, New Hampshire; and Greeley West High School, Greeley, Colorado. Directing questions and managing the interview was a representative of the National FFA Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.
The town hall gathering featured a lively exchange of comments, with students asking our country’s new head of Ag questions concerning job growth, climate change, President Trump’s agriculture trade policies, the challenging farm economy, and what the Department of Agriculture is doing to help in regards to various farm situations.
Hudson students given the chance to directly voice questions to Secretary Perdue were senior Maria Geisler who asked a question on trade, infrastructure and waterways, and freshman Kacie Herring who wondered about Perdue’s thoughts on food insecurity. Commending both girls, Perdue first responded by observing, “That’s a good question…”
Before closing the meeting, the President’s cabinet member promised to try to attend the National FFA convention scheduled in Indianapolis in late October. “As FFA members, whether or not you’re from a farm, I urge you to grow where you are planted. Agriculture is important in every state in this country,” the new Secretary added.
Photos and story by Soo Greiman of the Hudson Herald