Sonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Secretary; Praised by ARA

Posted April 26, 2017

"I'm confident that he'll do everything he can to work with United Fresh and all of our industry to help us meet the many challenges and opportunities we have before us; his confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture is a great development for the entire fresh fruit and vegetable production chain".

The Senate confirmed the former Georgia Governor on Monday, but it's unclear when he will be sworn in.

According to Market Watch, Perdue, a Republican, grew up on a dairy farm and has managed agribusinesses.

Isakson said in a speech on the Senate floor that Perdue's "experience and leadership in public service, business and agriculture will benefit our nation". Before serving two terms as governor of Georgia, Perdue served in the Georgia state Senate. The giant, five-year measure covers a range of policies from crop insurance for farmers to nutrition programs for low-income Americans.

Democrats surely think so.

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"Following his confirmation, Perdue will need to work immediately to address the depressed farm economy, offering assistance to struggling farmers across the country".

Last month, President Trump released his budget proposal calling to cut USDA's discretionary budget by 21 percent, the third largest cut to any federal agency. Davis Perdue, R-GA, just voted "present", but was given the honor of announcing the vote, confirming his cousin Sonny's successful nomination.

"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. Current farm policy expires next year, and lawmakers on the House and Senate agriculture committees will have to find a way to push it through Congress amid heightened partisan tensions and concerns over spending.

The much-delayed appointment - the last announced Trump cabinet post, announced just a day before the January 20 inauguration - has prompted some to express concern that President Donald Trump has made a low priority of the rural and farm interests credited with his victory in November.

The American Soybean Association is "glad that Secretary Perdue is finally on board", Ron Moore, ASA president, said in a statement.

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Many agriculture industry groups and politicians were pleased to see Perdue approved as the leader of the Department of Agriculture.

Perdue, 70, graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia, and served in the U.S. Air Force.

Mr. Perdue is expected to start work at the USDA, which employs around 100,000, by addressing employees Tuesday.

It also fills a gap that troubled some crop and livestock producers across US farm states, which heavily factored into Mr. Trump's electoral victory in November.

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