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Hudson Hosts USDA Secretary to Discuss Rural Broadband, Priorities for Agriculture

September 10, 2020
WEST END, N.C. – U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), founder and co-chair of the Agriculture and Rural America Task Force in Congress, hosted U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue in North Carolina today. In West End, Rep. Hudson discussed the importance of expanding rural broadband access. Secretary Purdue announced that the USDA is investing $2.3 million for the Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 3,333 people, 17 farms, 26 businesses and nine education facilities to high-speed broadband internet in Moore County. This investment is part of the $100 million allocated to the ReConnect Program through the CARES Act, which Rep. Hudson supported. More information can be found here.
"Connecting our rural communities to broadband has never been more important than right now. Rural broadband has remained a top priorities for me in Congress and I thank President Donald Trump and Secretary Sonny Perdue for sharing this commitment and delivering this funding to connect rural homes, farms, businesses and schools in Moore County to this infrastructure," said Rep. Hudson.
Following the broadband announcement, Secretary Purdue joined Rep. Hudson for a roundtable discussion and tour of a 7th generation family farm in Bunnlevel to discuss priorities for farmers, ranchers, growers and producers. Rep. Hudson and Secretary Purdue were joined by North Carolina Farm Bureau members from throughout the region.
"Agriculture remains a top industry in our state and I recognize that our farmers, ranchers and agribusiness leaders are some of the hardest workers in our nation. I thank Secretary Purdue for joining me today in Bunnlevel and hearing directly from farmers in our region about their needs. I am committed to supporting our farmers, as well as all workers and small businesses that are the backbone of our community and country," continued Rep. Hudson.
At Byrd Family Farms in Bunnlevel, Rep. Hudson and Secretary Purdue discussed relief efforts for farmers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Hudson recently supported $23.5 billion in temporary emergency relief to help farmers weather the fall-out caused by the pandemic through the CARES Act. This included $9.5 billion in disaster relief for USDA to directly support farmers and ranchers, and $14 billion to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation which funds programs like Price Loss Coverage, Dairy Margin Coverage, and the Market Facilitation Program.
Secretary Purdue is the fourth cabinet secretary from the Trump administration Rep. Hudson has hosted in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District over the past month. Rep. Hudson has thanked the secretaries and President Donald Trump for showing their commitment to the region.