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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture visits Mississippi Valley Fair to talk to local farmers

DAVENPORT-- The new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture toured the Mississippi Valley Fair Sunday, August 6, to participate in the agricultural safety demonstrations and visit with local farmers.

It's a part of his 'Back to our Roots' tour across the Midwest.

The purpose of the tour is to gather input and suggestions on the 2018 Farm Bill  to increase rural prosperity.

The bill is responsible for funding many agricultural programs including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and food safety. The bill also helps to establish trade negotiations.

“Our farmers want to do no harm;They’ve enjoyed some benefits from the (North American Free Trade Agreement) for the most part. (It) increased exports and they would like to continue that,” says Perdue.

For Scott County farmer Gene Newell, maintaining the county’s crop insurance options is his biggest priority. He doesn’t think those policies will change anytime soon because he hopes congress understands how important crop insurance is.

“It’s like a person that is salaried and all of a sudden laid off and has no income,” says Newell.

Parts of the current Farm Bill are set to expire in 2018.

Secretary Perdue will be in Rochester, Illinois Monday, August 7 to meet with members of the Illinois Farm Bureau.