Last week farm groups quickly got behind President Donald Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. American Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers, National Corn Growers and many more fired off press releases endorsing or waiting to hear Governor Sonny Perdue’s ideas, especially with a new farm bill in the offing.
Environmental groups attacked Perdue as a career politician, agribusiness CEO, and climate-change denier. But the nomination of Perdue to be the 31st USDA secretary, came as a relief to farm interests.
“We we’re very excited,” American Farm Bureau Senior Economist Bob Young. “He and President Duvall have a longstanding relationship with Perdue being the former governor of the state of Georgia and President Duvall being president of Georgia Farm Bureau for years. So, they’ve had quite a few opportunities to interact.”
Perdue has southern versus Midwestern roots, but Young is not concerned.
“You know he’s a down in the dirt farmer who has grown crops as well, and I think he’s going to be a very good partner for agriculture as we go forward. Someone who’s been there done that kind of thing. In the past we’ve had folks who have had a great affinity for agriculture but not necessarily having lived it. Governor Perdue has absolutely lived it.”
For the environmental critics who suggest Perdue will sacrifice conservation and the environment for profits, Young says they do not know Perdue.
“The first conservationists are farmers. They have to live on that land and drink that water, and so they’re going to be the first up to make sure that they’re doing the right things, or doing what the best science of the day is telling them to do.”
Perdue is a veterinarian and CEO of Perdue Partners, a global ag trading firm. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts promises a “thorough” confirmation hearing. The hearing date has not yet been scheduled.