Finalizing his Cabinet only days before his inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor, for secretary of agriculture.
Perdue was raised on a row farm in rural Georgia. He holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine, but spent much of his career running his own company which focuses on agriculture and transportation. He served two terms as Georgia governor from 2003 to 2011.
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, a native of Georgia, praised Perdue’s nomination.
“Gov. Perdue will provide the strong voice that agriculture needs in the new administration,” Duvall said, in a statement. “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.”
Duvall became friends with Perdue while serving as president of Georgia Farm Bureau, he said during remarks at the AFBF Annual Convention in early January.
As governor of Georgia, Duvall said Perdue was willing to work with farmers and ranchers.
“He told me and he told our farmers, ‘You don’t have to come in the back door anymore, you come in our front door,’” Duvall said.
A native of rural Georgia, Duvall said Perdue understands the challenges currently plaguing American farmers and ranchers.
“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,” Duvall said, in his statement. “When farmers and ranchers are free to access cutting-edge technologies, reach new markets and make decisions that protect their businesses and resources, we all are better off.”
Duvall also pledged to work toward confirmation of the agriculture secretary nominee.
“It’s our job, after he picks that person, to help them get appointed and be a resource to them so they’ll call on American Farm Bureau as a resource to lead them in the right direction and in what’s right for American agriculture,” Duvall said, at the AFBF Annual Meeting.
Nominated just two days before the inauguration, Perdue will have little time to prepare for the new position that manages nearly 90,000 employees and a budget of $150 billion.
Perdue must face a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee before being confirmed on the Senate floor.