JASPER COUNTY — Jasper County commissioner Kendell Culp has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to serve on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds.

His journey to being confirmed began back in February when his name was submitted to Perdue through the American Soybean Association. After an application process, Culp’s name was ultimately selected.

“They said not to say anything because you never know who’s going to get the appointment,” Culp said earlier this week.

Culp, who is also vice president of the Indiana Farm Bureau, said he has not yet been able to speak personally with Perdue about the position, but they will be meeting in the near future at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

“I think they meet a couple times a year, so they haven’t alerted me of when the first meeting is,” he said.

The position will put Culp in contact with both the USDA and the Foreign Agriculture Service to advise leaders there on trade policy for certain commodities. He will have a key role in letting those leaders know how President Donald Trump’s trading negotiations are effecting Indiana farmers.

“I think it’s important, as a producer, that we share our story of what’s taking place on the farm — what are the ramifications of trade and what are the ramifications of lack of trade more importantly, recently — to us as farmers,” Culp said. “That’s my plan — to share those thoughts, give them some real examples of how it’s effecting us.”

One of the front-and-center issues will be how Congress will react to Trump’s new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

“We need to share with them how important it is to the livelihood of the farmers and producers ... to get that trade agreement passed,” Culp said.