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Opinion

Perdue: Heroes of the food supply chain

I just really want to speak from my heart to all you folks out there who are working at the front lines of our food supply chain. You know, we’re spoiled in America. You’ve provided such abundant, healthy, wholesome, affordable, available food that we take you for granted.

For all you people, from the people who are stocking those shelves, from the people who are driving the trucks to get this food to us, the people who are processing the food and the people who grow the food and all the vendors that supplied our farmers to help them grow this food whether it’s fertilizer or feed or seed or any other input — thank you so much for what you’re doing.

I know these are uncertain times, but I just want to tell you from my heart, as an American citizen, I am so grateful for what you’re doing. And I want to thank you for doing that.

I know there’s been a lot of confusion about teleworking and all that kind of stuff. You all have jobs that can’t telework, and we know that.

We’ve got our Food Safety and Inspection Service workers on the front line, day in and day out, to make sure our food is safe, just like we always have. But you’re the real heroes in this effort.

In World War II, we actually had agricultural deferments because the food supply chain was so important. And that’s essentially what you all are doing.

From the person that makes the equipment, that supplies the farmers, to the seed, the fertilizer, the farmers that go day in and day out to produce this food and all through the processing and the packaging and the logistics and the stocking of the shelves to greeting and checking out people — you are vital to our economy and you are vital to our needs of America having a strong food supply.

You’ve probably heard me say before, our motto at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is, “Do Right and Feed Everyone.” We can’t do that alone at USDA, but you are doing it.

And I want to just thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing day in and day out. Stay at the job.

You know that America depends on you if we are going to have the food we need to feed our families. You are the ones that can make that happen. Thank you.

God Bless you. Stay safe.

And God bless America.

Sonny Perdue is the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

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