Senate set to confirm Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as secretary of the Agriculture Department, ending a three-month vacancy atop the sprawling agency as the food sector confronts potential changes to U.S. trade policy and farm-level regulations. He became the first Republican Governor in over 135 years in our state of Georgia, just 15 years ago.He served two terms.

Lawmakers voted 87 to 11 in favor of Perdue, who takes office as the agricultural community grapples with the key issues of trade and immigration.

He also visited Cuba, China and South America as part of several trade missions aimed at growing exports for Peach State farmers. I look forward to working with him to support agriculture and rural development programs, which are important to Tennessee farmers, families and businesses. Mr Trump has proposed a 21% cut in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) programmes and has harshly criticised some global trade deals, saying they have killed American jobs.

The White House is expected to give Secretary Perdue the running room to name his own team, but some of these appointments are more pressing than others. I welcome the chance to work hand-in-hand with the Secretary as we help producers navigate existing programs and as we look toward the 2018 farm bill.

Although Perdue has received considerable support in the Senate and from agricultural interest groups, ethics watchdogs have raised concerns about his agro-business holdings.

"The list of issues facing our industry is long, but we stand ready to work with Secretary Perdue and his staff to ensure USA cattle producers are provided a fair and competitive marketplace", says the United States Cattlemen's Association.

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Perdue was widely supported by the nation's largest farm groups.

Earlier in the day, Sonny Perdue was confirmed to be the next US Secretary of Agriculture by the US Senate.

Mississippian Mike Espy served as agriculture secretary under President Bill Clinton, leaving in 1994. David Perdue, R-Ga., voted present. "He is a real-world farmer himself and knows the business inside out", said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.

Perdue's leadership at the Department of Agriculture will be particularly important as the issue of worldwide trade is debated in Congress and by the Administration.

Perdue, whose confirmation stalled for months, did not have a hand in crafting that budget and has expressed support for numerous programs that could be cut. Perdue and his long record of public service, I'm confident that he will hit the ground running in his new job. Gov.

Michael Conaway issued the following statement upon the confirmation of Governor Sonny Perdue as the 31st Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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