Senate Confirms Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary

The Senate confirmed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture on Monday.

Perdue was approved by a vote of 87 to 11. There are many issues facing agriculture that Perdue will need to deal with like a new farm bill, low commodity prices, immigration reform and trade agreements.

Many agriculture industry groups and politicians were pleased to see Perdue approved as the leader of the Department of Agriculture.

"I'm pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan fashion to confirm Governor Perdue. 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," says Senator Pat Roberts, (R-Kan.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

During Monday's remarks to the Senate, Chairman Roberts noted six former secretaries of agirculture representing presidents from both parties voiced support for Perude, along with 700 agriculture and food industry groups.

"Today is a great day for American agriculture. Secretary Perdue is a strong friend of America's farmers and ranchers, and I know he will work to ensure that agriculture is a top priority in the new Administration," says House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (Texas-R).

"Sonny Perdue is the kind of leader the pork industry, and the entire livestock industry, needs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture," said National Pork Producers Council president Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. "He'll be very good for America's farmers and ranchers."

"We are excited to have a Secretary that comes from the industry, understands the complexities of our business, and is willing to stand up and fight for the hard-working men and women in rural America," says Craig Uden, Nebraska cattle producer and president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

"Secretary Perdue knows that dairy farmers depend on export markets around the world and closer to home, which is why it is important for USDA to insist on preserving market access to key customers in Mexico, and demand that Canada plays by the international trade rules to which it has already agreed," says the National Milk Producers Federation.

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

"During the hearings, Secretary Perdue committed himself to working diligently with the Trump administration and the agricultural industry to ensure preservation of current trade benefits and creation of new trade opportunities in key agricultural markets," says the American Feed Industry Association.

Perdue was the second to last Cabinet position to be filled in the Trump administration. Alex Acosta is the final Cabinet nominee to be approved as secretary of labor.