The long wait to learn who Donald Trump would appoint to serve as Secretary of Agriculture ended with the announcement that former two-term Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was selected by the incoming President of the United States. The post was the last remaining cabinet-level position to fill in the new administration. The announcement was made only a day before Trump’s Inauguration.
Perdue has a strong agricultural background, growing up on a farm and earning a degree veterinary medicine. The news of his nomination was well-received in ag circles.
“We’re obviously very happy that the President-elect has chosen someone from the Southeast with a strong agricultural background,” said Mike Stuart, President of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. “We look forward to working closely with the new Secretary and the USDA as we move toward the development of the next Farm Bill.”
Current American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall worked closely with Perdue in his previous post serving as President of the Georgia Farm Bureau.
“I have known Gov. Perdue for years,” Duvall said. “I’ve seen firsthand his commitment to the business of agriculture as we worked together on issues facing farmers and ranchers in our home state of Georgia. He understands the challenges facing rural America because that’s where he was born and raised. He is a businessman who recognizes the impact immigration reform, trade agreements, and regulation have on a farmer’s bottom line and ability to stay in business from one season to the next.”
United Fresh, President and CEO Tom Stenzel added: “We congratulate Gov. Perdue on his selection as the next Secretary of Agriculture. We have high regards for this past work with our Georgia fruit and vegetable industry, and are confident he will bring a passion and commitment to supporting agriculture, and helping us deliver healthy foods to all Americans. We anticipate meeting with Gov. Perdue soon, and working with him on critical issues such as securing an adequate workforce through immigration reform and a new guest worker program, bolstering free and fair trade, serving the neediest Americans through federal feeding programs, and more.”