Senate confirms Perdue as agriculture secretary

Posted April 26, 2017

"Secretary Perdue knows agriculture; I think he'll do well as agriculture secretary", Maschhoff says.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue is president-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of agriculture.

Agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, Perdue worked on the family farm in central Georgia andn will be only the fourth agriculture secretary who can claim to have been a farmer.

At the North American Agricultural Journalists meeting, Starling said Trump recognizes the hard work and low profit margins of modern agriculture. And we're very confident that just as we've been told by our folks down in Georgia what a great job he did as governor of the state, we're looking for that same management and that same drive that he brings to the job at USDA to take those issues and move them on down the road.

At the hearing, Perdue said he would be a "tenacious advocate and fighter" for rural America when dealing with the White House and other agencies and noted a growing middle class around the world that is hungry for US products.

Perdue's new position gives him oversight of the country's farm, nutrition and rural development programs, as well as roughly 100,000 employees.

Awaiting Perdue is the worst farm-economy slump in decades, with farm income projected to fall for a fourth consecutive year to $62.3 billion, half the record $123 billion farmers earned in 2013, according to USDA projections.

Democrats surely think so. "His leadership skills and knowledge of production ag will be beneficial as the Senate begins work on the next farm bill". Perdue's cousin, Sen. David Perdue, R-GA, voted present. Sen.

"Rural America is the economic backbone of our country, and it's too true that small towns are continuing to struggle to recover from the recession", she said during the March hearing.

His main task over the coming year will be working with Congress and coordinating his department's input on the next five-year farm bill.

At his hearing, he pledged to help senators sustain popular crop insurance programs and fix problems with government dairy programs.

"I'm pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan fashion to confirm Governor Perdue".

In a statement before the vote, Tiffany Finck-Haynes of the group Friends of the Earth said Perdue's "long-standing ties to major agribusiness and chemical companies" made him "out of touch with American values".

It also fills a gap that troubled some crop and livestock producers across USA farm states, which heavily factored into Mr. Trump's electoral victory in November. His knowledge, background and experience will serve him well leading an agency with the scope and size of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.