Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue Takes a Turn at the Editor’s Desk
We always try to make an impact with our coverage in our January issues.
In some first-of-the year issues, we take an optimistic view of the future. In others, we reflect on how the previous season went. This issue is another ground-breaker: We are very proud to introduce USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue as the first guest editor of Successful Farming magazine.
We spent months working with Secretary Perdue and his communications team, visiting his office in Washington, D.C., to conceive and deliver a 20-page special section on what it means to “Do Right and Feed Everyone” – his motto for USDA and this issue.
We highlight the work of the USDA because its influence spreads far beyond crop insurance, farm policy, and federal food programs.
The historical connection between the USDA and Successful Farming is a direct one. Our founder, E.T. Meredith, started Meredith Corporation in 1902 and also served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson.
In 1912, Meredith respectfully declined Wilson’s initial offer, saying he “could boost farming as effectively through his paper Successful Farming as he could through a federal office.” Near the end of his second term, Wilson asked again, and Meredith did serve a short time as a favor to his friend, the president.
A former farmer and an avid reader of Successful Farming magazine, Secretary Perdue is more than qualified to share the USDA story with our readers. As for this publication, we’ll keep sharing great farmer-focused stories that, as Meredith said, “boost farming.”
Here’s to a successful January.
- Dave Kurns, Editorial Content Director
Guest Editor, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue
Having grown up on a diversified row-crop and dairy farm in middle Georgia, I learned from a young age the role that agriculture plays in the daily lives of each and every person on this planet.
Now, as Secretary of Agriculture, I’ve instituted an informal motto here at USDA and that is to “Do Right and Feed Everyone.”
Every farmer, rancher, and producer in America is playing a pivotal part in feeding and clothing the world. We are truly blessed with the bounty of the American harvest. As the world population continues to grow, American agriculturalists will need to continue producing and will have to adapt to new technologies. By 2050, we will need to feed an estimated 9 billion people.
Half a century ago, Norman Borlaug used technology to save more than a billion people from starvation. Now, it is our responsibility to use every tool we have to the best of our ability to produce food and to feed a hungry world.
Through emerging technology, precision agriculture, biotechnology, and genetically modified foods, we can all work together to grow our food supply in a way that would make Dr. Borlaug proud.
There’s an old proverb that says, “When a man has food, he has many problems; when a man does not have food, he has one problem.” As Secretary of Agriculture, I intend to help USDA live up to our motto to do right and feed everyone.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Successful Farming magazine, and I hope it gives you insight into what we at USDA do on a daily basis. My goal is for USDA to be the most efficient, most effective, most customer-focused agency in the entire federal government so we can best serve you – the people of American agriculture. Thank you for all you do as we continue in our shared goal: to do right and feed everyone.
- Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture
Highlights from the January "Do Right and Feed Everyone" Issue:
- A Day in the Life of Sonny Perdue
- The Many Hats of Sonny Perdue
- How Scott Family Farms Grew From 60 to 14,000 Acres
- Top-Notch Ag Education Program in the Middle of New York City
- Water-Conservation Project Seeks to Improve Irrigation Efficiency in Nebraska
- Building a Better Future for Rural Residents Starts With High-Speed Internet
- Managing Wildfires With Controlled Burns, Timber Harvest, and Grazing