Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, left, presents U.S. Secretary of the Agricuture Sonny Perdue with a t-shirt following their conversation Tuesday at the school. Photo by Nikos Frazier
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, left, presents U.S. Secretary of the Agricuture Sonny Perdue with a t-shirt following their conversation Tuesday at the school. Photo by Nikos Frazier
WEST LAFAYETTE — In celebration of Purdue's agriculture week, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spoke in Fowler Hall about trade deals, climate change and how to recruit the next generation of farmers.

University president Mitch Daniels introduced the two-term former governor of Georgia as one of the nation's greatest public servants. And no, he is not in the chicken business or the opioid business, "which we have to irritatingly answer about from time to time," Daniels quipped.

Perdue admitted that he was not an early contributor or supporter of Donald Trump's candidacy and eventual presidency but he didn't shy away from talking about ongoing political discussions from the U.S.'s departure from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to proposed sustainability solutions within Green New Deal.

Here's three major takeaways from the Secretary's hour-long Q&A with Daniels:

Farmers have "legitimate anxiety" over trade deals

On the third day of his presidency, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the TPP. In July of 2017, the other 11 countries within the agreement decided to move on without the U.S.

U.S. Dairy Export Council report predicted American dairy farmers would lose billions over the next two decades if trade agreements with Japan, one of the biggest buyers of dairy products in the TPP, aren't resolved.

"I think there's a legitimate anxiety out there when you're talking about your livelihood," Perdue said. "What I've told the president before is that farmers are true patriots and they're some of his biggest supporters and they're very loyal."

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