Local farmers hopeful after Trump's final cabinet pick

LUBBOCK TX - Donald Trump officially tapped former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as the new Secretary of Agriculture Thursday.

Many West Texans were hopeful after hearing the news, thinking that someone with experience in the cotton industry would be an advocate for them at the federal level.

"He brings a lot to the table that we think is important, and certainly from a cotton perspective, it doesn't hurt that he's from the second-largest cotton producing state in the U.S., Georgia," Vice President of Plains Cotton Growers Steve Verett said.

Local farmer Steven Brosch is hoping to see positive change.

"Cotton is just different than the Midwestern states that grow corn and soybeans, it's just a different commodity, so it takes somebody who's experienced it and been a part of it to truly understand what it takes to produce cotton."

The Plains Cotton Growers Association says their priority is getting cotton put back in Title I of the Farm Bill.

"We had an effort that went on last year trying to make cotton seed designated as another oil seed. We believed at that time that the Secretary had the authority to be able to do that," Verett said, "Secretary Vilsak did not decide that and went another route, so we're going to continue to work on that, whether it's through the USDA Secretary or a legislative vehicle."

Brosch is happy to know that local West Texas farmers' voices will be heard...and for Plains Cotton Growers, their work carries on.

"It's some reason at least to have some optimism at this point, and with a new administration, there are new folks to be working with, and we're excited about trying to meet those challenges," Verett said, "And we'll do what we can to make sure agriculture on the high plains of Texas remains profitable in the economic engine that it is for the area."

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