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Sonny Perdue

File photo/Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

As President Donald Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made the rounds this week to reiterate their commitment to rural communities and farmers and ranchers, the federal agency that President Abraham Lincoln established still lacks top appointments.

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Shoring up rural America's economy must start with broadband access and technology, a federal task force said in a report released Monday.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and ranchers, with their livelihoods intimately tied to weather and the environment, might not be able to depend on research conducted by the government to help them adapt to climate change if the Trump Administration follows through on campaign promises to shift federal resources away from studying the climate.

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Three months into his term, President Donald Trump now has in place his Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. Here's what you need to know:

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President Donald Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, testified in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture committee today, but remains far from the head job at USDA.

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Update 1/25/2017: The Agricultural Research Servicerescinded its initial directive in an email to employees Tuesday evening.

File: Grace Hood for Harvest Public Media

Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's main research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), received an email from the division's chief of staff ordering them to stop publicizing their work.

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President-elect Donald Trump plans to pick former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the Agriculture Department, a transition official and a source close to the process confirmed to NPR.