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Perdue to Take Reins at USDA

George E. (Sonny) Perdue III has wide support across the industry

Sonny Purdue

President Trump kept the agriculture world waiting for who would be the new head of the United States Department of Agriculture until Jan. 18, when he announced the nomination of former two-term Georgia Governor George E. (Sonny) Perdue III. Perdue owns three agribusiness and transportation firms serving farmers across the Southeast.

Groups from across the industry, including the American Feed Industry Association and the National Grain and Feed Association, lauded the decision. The NGFA in a press release called it an “outstanding choice.”

Perdue must first be questioned in Senate Agriculture Committee confirmation hearings and approved by the U.S. Senate, but already the industry is touting him as a champion for agriculture.

“Gov. Perdue is an accomplished, innovative, problemsolving and proven public servant, and is an excellent choice to serve as secretary of agriculture,” said Randy Gordon, NGFA president.

“He has strong rural roots, having grown up on a row-crop and dairy farm, and is a person of impeccable character, trustworthiness and integrity who is an energetic, passionate and tireless advocate for U.S. agriculture and for America. Gov. Perdue also is a very open and receptive person who seeks out and listens to advice. He also possesses the business acumen, experience, common sense and sound policymaking background that will serve him extremely well as a member of the president’s cabinet.”

His relationship to those in agriculture (including serving as a member of the NGFA’s Board of Directors from 2014 until his nomination), support of trade and regulatory reform will make him an ally to those in the grain handling and feed manufacturing industries.

“We believe Gov. Perdue will be a proactive advocate for U.S. agriculture in expanding mutually beneficial trade that is so essential to the future economic well-being of U.S. farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in all regions of the country, given the fact that 95% of consumers live outside our borders,” Gordon said.

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