Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary

The U.S. Senate on Monday voted to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the Department of Agriculture. 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. After Secretary Perdue took the oath of office, he addressed employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) before getting to work on his first day.

Representatives of the animal agriculture industry voiced support for Perdue's confirmation, echoing their overwhelming support for Perdue's initial nomination in January.

When Perdue was nominated as Agriculture Secretary in January, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) issued the following statement by Pamela G. Bailey, President and CEO of GMA, "As Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue's agricultural business background and experience as governor will serve the US well".

Thirty-seven Democrats joined every Republican to vote in favor of elevating the Republican to the position, 87-11, almost 13 weeks after he was first tapped by President Donald Trump. It shows that agriculture can still put partisanship aside for the good of our country, economy and our producers.

I look forward to working with you as we work together to build trade networks around the globe and support America's agriculture community as they feed a growing world.

Obama's Rural Council, established in June 2011, was "noble in objective", but most of its work "was informal and did not focus specifically on economic growth in agriculture or rural America", according to the Trump administration.

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"I welcome Sonny Perdue as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture", Bishop, who represents the largely agriculture 2nd District of Georgia, said.

When it comes to trade, Johanns said Perdue needs to be at the table for trade talks, and he must go where they are because ag shouldn't be traded.

After months without an agriculture secretary, Perdue will be sworn in early Tuesday.

Secretary Perdue's upbringing on a farm makes him the right person for the position, says the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Almost three months after being tapped to lead USDA, Sonny Perdue today was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during a small ceremony at the Supreme Court. There are still more than 200 political appointments at USDA yet to be made.

At his March 23 confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Perdue pledged to be a "tenacious" advocate for agriculture. "There is much work to do, and we are eager to begin". This is not, however, the same family as runs Perdue Farms, the large poultry company.

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