President-elect Donald Trump today announced his intention on Thursday morning to nominate former Governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.
“Sonny Perdue is going to accomplish great things as Secretary of Agriculture,” Trump said. “From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face, and he is going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land.”
“I am proud and honored to be joining President-elect Trump’s administration as his Secretary of Agriculture,” Perdue stated. “Beginning as a simple Georgia farm boy, making sure Americans who make their livelihood in the agriculture industry are thriving is near and dear to my heart, and I’m going to champion the concerns of American agriculture and work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families in this new role.”
Sonny Perdue was born in Perry, Georgia, to a lifelong farmer and a classroom teacher. He graduated from Warner Robins High School and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1971 from the University of Georgia. Following his service as a Captain in the United States Air Force, Perdue became a successful small business owner, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation.
After serving on the Houston County, Georgia Planning and Zoning Board during the 1980’s, he ran a successful campaign for the Georgia State Senate in 1990 and spent the next 11 years representing his district. Perdue left the State Senate in 2001 to campaign for Governor, which focused on restoring public trust in state government and empowering all Georgians. He served as Governor from 2003-2011. He and his wife, Mary, have been married for forty-four years. The couple has four children and fourteen grandchildren. Additionally they have served as foster parents for eight newborns awaiting adoption.
“Throughout the last eight years, the picture painted of the state of our agriculture economy is far rosier than the realities on the ground,” U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) said responding to the announcement. “Iowans lead our nation in pork, soybean and corn production, and folks want strong leadership and forward thinking in the Department of Agriculture. Too often, agricultural priorities fall to the wayside, and we need to address head-on the many urgent issues that plague our farmers and producers.
“As a veterinarian, Mr. Perdue understands the agriculture industry, and has executive branch experience as a former governor. I look forward to thoroughly vetting him for this position before our committee,” she added.
“The Secretary of Agriculture oversees a broad swath of very important American policy that helps feed and fuel the world. Understanding and having an appreciation of the institution of the family farm like we have in Iowa and the Midwest, which is the strength of American agriculture, is important. This is especially true as we think about policies that will enable the next generation of farmers to make a living producing the food and renewable fuels the world needs. I look forward to meeting with Governor Purdue and learning his views on agriculture,” U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in a released statement.