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Donnelly Calls on Agriculture Secretary Nominee To Partner In Rural Development
Updated March 28, 2017 6:32 AM | Filed under: Agriculture
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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly questioned Sonny Perdue in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Perdue has been nominated by the president to serve as Secretary of Agriculture.

Donnelly asked that Perdue, if confirmed, use his time at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be a partner to rural communities as they work to expand economic opportunities. Donnelly also asked Perdue to continue USDA's work to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics that have devastated communities across Indiana and our country.

Donnelly said, "We need to make sure our rural communities have broadband, so companies there can compete with those across the world and that they have the same access to educational opportunities our children do as in the cities...I want to make sure that as Secretary of Agriculture you look at this in a maximize economic opportunities for our rural communities.

"The USDA has worked to increase access to treatment for opioid and heroin abuse in rural communities...They have assisted in creating transitional housing, funded initiatives to improve education and awareness to the dangers of this. Purdue (University) has been an amazing partner in this, and I want to make sure the USDA is our partner in this critical battle against opioid and heroin abuse."

Perdue responded, "(former Agriculture) Secretary Vilsack and I had an extended conversation about the ability just to do that. That was one of the things that I was mentioning in the ability of USDA in its rural development program to add value in rural communities, even the areas of healthcare. So certainly."

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