Senate Confirms Perdue as Agriculture Secretary

Perdue has the wide backing of farming and agriculture groups in Georgia and beyond and only limited opposition among some environmental groups.

That set the stage for Perdue to follow through on his planned first visit to USDA headquarters as Agriculture Secretary Tuesday. To calm them down, he assured them he will advocate for rural America and he promised to reach out to Democrats. On Monday, Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin were among the Senators that confirmed the former Virginia governor's nomination; and both urged him to act immediately on the Canadian dairy trade dispute that's forcing many area farmers to be dropped from their milk processors.

"I'm pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan fashion to confirm Governor Perdue". "Secretary Perdue will play a critical role working on issues important to the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, including the 2018 Farm Bill debate, immigration reform, research, trade, and nutrition".


"With his wide range of experience as a farmer, businessman, and governor, Secretary Perdue is well-positioned to lead the USDA in helping create more opportunity for US producers", said Smith.

"We also commend Secretary Perdue on his support - reiterated during his Senate Agriculture Committee hearing - for relieving the obstacles dairy producers deal with when looking to hire workers for year-round labor". Senator Perdue presided over the vote and voted present.

Perdue's main task over the coming year will be working with Congress and coordinating his department's input on the next five-year farm bill.


At the hearing, Mr Perdue said he would be a "tenacious advocate and fighter" for rural America when dealing with the White House and other agencies and noted a growing middle class around the world that is hungry for USA products. Since exports are a major source of US farm income, producers are looking to Perdue to advocate for their needs in trade talks.

Rounds said the state's farmers have been telling him recently they are anxious after four years of declining farm income and a new season looking to also be one of lower farm income.

With Perdue's confirmation, the last two Trump Cabinet-level nominees awaiting Senate confirmation are Alexander Acosta for labor secretary and Robert Lighthizer for USA trade representative.


"His confirmation as secretary of agriculture is a great development for the entire fresh fruit and vegetable production chain", he said. Secretary Perdue's experience as an exporter and governor leading trade missions will be invaluable as this administration pursues trade policy.


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