New Ag Secretary Confirmation Hearing a Ways Off, Says Strain

By Don Molino

Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain says it’s going to be more than a week before Dr. Sonny Perdue will go before the senate for his confirmation hearing to head USDA, which should go “very, very well.”

During his daily report on the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Strain also pointed out there is a big push for the new deputy secretary to be someone from the mid-west.  Several names have cropped up including Ted McKinney and Bill Northy, both agriculture secretaries from the mid-west.

Strain also reports he had a couple of speaking engagements Wednesday in the Capitol City area. First it was to the Louisiana Pest Management Association.  Stain said his office oversees the entire pest control industry, currently consisting of more than 6,000 licensed individuals and over 14,000 different products and chemicals.

There are two divisions within the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry dealing with pest management—the Structural Pest Control Commission and the Advisory Commission On Pesticides.  The Advisory Commission oversees the agriculture side as well as the approval of new chemical agents while the Structural Pest Control Commission oversees the entire pest control industry, a multi-billion dollar industry for Louisiana, according to Strain.

Later Wednesday, the commissioner spoke to the West Baton Rouge Parish Chamber of Commerce about overseas trade which is very important to that parish which is home to a huge port.

“When you combine the Port of West Baton Rouge and the Port of South Louisiana,” says Strain, “they become the largest port system in the Americas.”