4/5/18 Sec. Perdue's "Back To Our Roots" Tour
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (left) and Mastronardi Produce CEO Paul Mastronardi tour the greenhouse grower's Coldwater, Mich., facility on April 3. ( Photo courtesy Mastronardi Produce. )

Agriculture Sonny Perdue toured Mastronardi Produce’s Coldwater, Mich., greenhouse on his “Back to Our Roots” RV road trip, sampling vegetables and discussing grower issues.

Perdue visited the 52-acre operation run by Mastronardi affiliate grower Maroa Farms on April 3, the first of a 4-day tour of agriculture interests in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

“We are honored to have Secretary Perdue at our Michigan facility,” CEO Paul Mastronardi said in a news release. “Being able to see our growing methods and technologies, our strict food safety policies, and more importantly, the socio-economic impact our company has in the agriculture sector is incredibly important to us.”

Perdue’s entourage during the visit included his wife, government officials (including USDA Rural Development Michigan Director Jason Allen and USDA Farm Service Agency Executive Director Joel Johnson), U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and Michigan Farm Bureau representatives, according to ther release.

After the greenhouse tour, Perdue participated in a question-and-answer session, and topics included economic development, food security and food safety, according to the release.

“Being able to meet with Paul, an industry leader who launched the industry’s first 100% traceability program, was a wonderful opportunity for me and a great addition to our tour,” Purdue said in the release. “I got to taste a lot of their tomatoes and peppers and they have great product.”