Senate confirms Perdue as secretary of agriculture

by Jay Sjerven
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Gov. Sonny Perdue
The U.S. Senate on April 24 confirmed the nomination of Governor George E. (Sonny) Perdue to be the nation’s 31st secretary of agriculture.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on April 24 confirmed the nomination of Governor George E. (Sonny) Perdue to be the nation’s 31st secretary of agriculture. The vote was 87 to 11.

“I’m pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan fashion to confirm Governor Perdue,” said Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “I have faith that Governor Perdue will put the needs of farmers and ranchers first, and I know that rural America is thankful to have such a qualified agriculture secretary on their side.”

Farmer and grain industry associations applauded the confirmation.

“Secretary Perdue’s expertise, considerable experience in production agriculture, agribusiness and state government, and his ability to engage effectively with others will serve him and U.S. agriculture well as he assumes a leadership role within the administration on trade, the farm bill, regulatory overreach and other issues important to American agriculture,” said Randy Gordon, president, National Grain and Feed Association.

Mr. Gordon said as the owner of three agribusiness and transportation firms serving farmers across the Southeast, Mr. Perdue had served as a member of the N.G.F.A.’s board of directors from 2014 until his nomination by President Donald J. Trump earlier this year. Mr. Perdue also had served as a member of N.G.F.A.’s Country Elevator Committee in the early 1980s. He won election as Georgia’s governor in 2003 and was reelected to a second term in 2006 with 58% of the vote.

“We look forward to working with Secretary Perdue and his capable team as they ‘hit the ground running’ in addressing pending, current and future issues important to U.S. agriculture,” Mr. Gordon said.

“Secretary Perdue will do a great job advocating for farmers across the country, and we look forward to working with him over the next four years,” said Ken Wood, president, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers.

Mr. Wood’s praise joined that of Justin Gilpin, c.e.o. of Kansas Wheat, who said, “Agriculture is facing many challenges right now. It is important for us to have Mr. Perdue's leadership in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as a salesman for U.S. grown commodities.” 
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