Former Ga governor could become Secretary of Agriculture soon
Apr 25, 2017, 13:03
The former governor of Georgia succeeds Tom Vilsack, who led the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the past eight years and who endorsed Perdue as his successor once the former Georgia governor was nominated by President Trump.
Perdue was confirmed overwhelmingly by the Senate Monday.
A formal swearing-in ceremony for Perdue, likely to be held later this week, will officially recognize Perdue as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture. The Governor also has the support of more than 650 agriculture groups from across the nation.
Hill noted that Trump has proposed cuts to the Department of Agriculture's discretionary budget and threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement that has benefitted USA farmers.
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.
The Department of Agriculture is made up of 29 agencies and offices, and it employs almost 100,000 men and women that work in all 50 states and around the globe.
Some agriculture groups are concerned about the effect of Trump's trade policies, which threaten to do away with the North American Free Trade Agreement. "Gov. Perdue's leadership is desperately needed by farmers, families and all Americans who rely on the USDA".
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Yet, year-after-year, they produce the safest, most abundant, and affordable food and fiber supply in the world. But right now, our ag communities are facing some major challenges-for example, Minnesota dairy producers are trying to dig out of an terrible price slump that's being exacerbated by unfair foreign trade practices. These industries contribute to the state's economy and tourism. Farmers have tangled in recent years with regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies. The son of a farmer from Bonaire, Georgia, he will be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades. "Agriculture needs a strong advocate", he told the committee.
"The vitality of our small communities really depends on a strong farm economy", he said. Perdue served as Governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011.
During his confirmation hearing, Governor Perdue demonstrated a real understanding of the challenges facing the agriculture industry and a willingness to work together to find solutions.
Earlier in the day, Sonny Perdue was confirmed to be the next US Secretary of Agriculture by the US Senate. He was easily approved by the committee on a voice vote.
Our farmers and ranchers have been long waiting for this important role to be filled.
At the hearing, Mr Perdue said he would be a "tenacious advocate and fighter" for rural America when dealing with the White House and other agencies and noted a growing middle class around the world that is hungry for U.S. products.
"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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