The U.S. Senate confirmed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Purdue as the Secretary of Agriculture on Monday, much to the approval of Nebraska’s congressional delegation.Purdue is a former state legislator and two-term governor in Georgia. He began political life as a Democrat and later became a Republican.
He has received praise for reforming the state budget, setting priorities and cutting wasteful spending.
He was born on a farm and has a degree in veterinary medicine. He was a captain in the U.S. Air Force, and after that career, he became a successful small business owner, concentrating in agri-business and transportation, according to the Georgia state website.
“During the confirmation process, Gov. Perdue proved he possesses the experience and expertise to lead in this pivotal role,” Sen. Deb Fischer said. “He understands regional differences and is committed to ensuring that agriculture holds a prominent seat at the table during trade negotiations.”
Rep. Adrian Smith said Third District agricultural producers recently made it clear to him they wanted to see Perdue confirmed as soon as possible, “so we can hit the ground running on agriculture policy.”
Smith recently held meetings with farmers to discuss the upcoming farm bill.
“With his wide range of experience as a farmer, businessman, and governor, Sec. Perdue is well-positioned to lead the USDA in helping create more opportunity for U.S. producers,” Smith said.
The Nebraska Farmer’s Union said Perdue looks to be up to the challenges ahead, including immediate work “to address the depressed farm economy, offering assistance to struggling farmers across the country.”
“We particularly look forward to working towards finding solutions for dairy producers, as discussed during the confirmation process, the NFU said.
Additionally, NFU urges Perdue to quickly review and approve the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, “which will provide farmers and ranchers with basic protections against anti-competitive practices.”
“As Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue is taking on the important and demanding role of advocating for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Although there is much to be done, we are optimistic that he is up to the task,” the NFU said.