USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue visits Austin Thursday

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AUSTIN (Nexstar) — United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is visiting Texas on Thursday to meet with local and state agriculture leaders.

His visit started with a meeting with Gov. Greg Abbott, where the pair signed a shared stewardship agreement to establish a partnership which aims to protect the health of forests and grasslands in the state, the USDA confirmed in an advisory.

Perdue will travel to Coupland, Texas, about 30 miles northeast of Austin, to participate in a roundtable discussion with farmers, ranchers and other agriculture producers about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That meeting is expected to include representatives from the Texas Farm Bureau, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, the Plains Cotton Growers, and Texas elected officials including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Congressman John Carter, who are both Republicans.

Perdue and Cornyn are also slated to visit the Houston Food Bank, a USDA partner, in the afternoon, to observe how the organization feeds those in need through federal programs. They will also tour McLane Global, a Houston company which focuses on food delivery. They will participate in a discussion with representatives from Baylor University and PepsiCo, the USDA confirmed.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller will join Perdue for the visit to McLane Global, a spokesperson for Miller said Wednesday.

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