Sonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Secretary; Praised by ARA

Sonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Secretary; Praised by ARA

After months without a secretary of agriculture, the Senate voted Monday evening to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to the post, writes Bartholomew D. Sullivan on


The vote was 87 to 11 with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward Markey, D-Mass, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I, Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., voting against the nomination. Perdue’s cousin, Sen David Perdue, R-Ga., presided over the Senate for the vote.

The much-delayed appointment — the last announced Trump cabinet post, announced just a day before the Jan. 20 inauguration — has prompted some to express concern that President Donald Trump has made a low priority of the rural and farm interests credited with his victory in November.

In part to address that concern, the president is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday promoting agriculture and “rural prosperity,” and will hold a roundtable discussion with some farmers at the White House. The names and hometowns of the farmer participants were not released Monday by the White House. Perdue is expected to be sworn in as the 31st secretary of agriculture on Tuesday.

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The confirmation of Perdue has also been praised by several industry organizations. Here is a letter from the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA):

The U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.

The Agricultural Retailers Association strongly supported Gov. Perdue’s nomination. As a farmer, agribusiness leader and an elected official in the State of Georgia, Gov. Perdue is familiar with the economic sector he will oversee. His knowledge, background and experience will serve him well leading an agency with the scope and size of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This familiarity is critical in the agricultural world, as the nature and nuances of the issues to be addressed are quite different than other sectors of the economy. He fully understands the challenges and opportunities faced by our industry on issues such as regulatory reform, trade, and agricultural labor. His leadership at the department will ensure farmers, ranchers, and ag retailers have a trusted friend and advisor within the president’s cabinet.

— Daren Coppock, President and CEO, ARA