Rooney Optimistic Following Secretary Perdue Visit
FORT MYERS, FL – Last night, Congressman Tom Rooney and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue capped off a day of events by attending the Gulf Citrus Growers Citrus and Agriculture Industry Celebration with Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. The dinner featured remarks from a number of important stakeholders in Florida’s Citrus Industry, including a keynote address from Secretary Perdue.
“The Secretary's visit today was extremely productive and beneficial for the Florida citrus industry as a whole,” Rooney said when the dinner concluded. “I’m grateful that Secretary Perdue spent a day with us in Florida so he could see the problem firsthand and hear how important it is for our growers to have an ally in this administration.”
Last night, Secretary Perdue noted the urgency of the threat of greening and made a commitment to growers that he would fight alongside them every step of the way. The Secretary also made it clear that U.S Department of Agriculture will not impede projects that show promise moving forward - like genetically modified therapies - and that he will work with the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate burdensome regulations that hinder progress on the deployment of effective therapies.
"Secretary Perdue met growers whose families have been in the Florida citrus industry for nearly a century," Rooney said. Last night, he stressed the importance of sustaining Florida's citrus industry so that the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth generations of growers thrive. I am grateful that the industry has a voice in the administration who recognizes that Washington should be a partner - not a hindrance - in paving the quickest and most effective path toward a cure."
Rooney and Secretary Perdue participated in a number of events throughout the day, including touring a working citrus grove that has been affected by citrus greening, meeting with researchers and industry stakeholders, and speaking with a number of vendors at the Florida Citrus Expo.