Earlier this month, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue got a close look at horticultural production during his two-day “Back to Our Roots” trip to New England to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill and opportunities for rural prosperity with growers.
The trip started with a visit to lef Farms, an operation that produces salad-greens year round, from President and Co-Founder Henry Huntington and Co-Owner Bob LaDue. During the visit, Perdue learned quickly how one business is farming indoors in a relatively small space compared to the massive operations he has seen in the Midwest and Southeast.
New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill was also on the tour and was pleased with the secretary’s visit.
“It’s an opportunity to show off some of the innovation and diversity of New Hampshire agriculture,” she says.
Read more about Perdue’s visit to lef Farms in an article from the Concord (NH) Monitor
During that same trip, AmericanHort board member Mark Sellew, his wife and business partner Lisa, and their family and staff hosted Perdue at Prides Corner Farm in Lebanon, CT. U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, along with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, also attended.
“It was a real honor to host Secretary Perdue, to better acquaint him with the nursery business, and have a great conversation on the issues facing us,” Mark Sellew says.
More than 40 growers and agricultural leaders from across the state attended the listening session, where topics of discussion ranged from regulatory reform and lack of insurance options, to the immense challenges growers face finding enough workers.