US Senate confirms Perdue as Trump's agriculture secretary

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Agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, Perdue worked on the family farm in central Georgia andn will be only the fourth agriculture secretary who can claim to have been a farmer. I think this is further evidence that this President, Donald J. Trump, is building an outstanding Cabinet with which to change the direction of our country, to get this economy going, to put America back to work again, to re-engage internationally, and to develop a fair and level playing field with the rest of the world economically. And we're very confident that just as we've been told by our folks down in Georgia what a great job he did as governor of the state, we're looking for that same management and that same drive that he brings to the job at USDA to take those issues and move them on down the road.

Perdue, whose confirmation stalled for months, did not have a hand in crafting that budget and has expressed support for numerous programs that could be cut. "We look forward to ... working with Secretary Perdue and his team in the months and years ahead". Secretary Perdue's experience as an exporter and governor leading trade missions will be invaluable as this administration pursues trade policy.

Secretary Perdue's upbringing on a farm makes him the right person for the position, says the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Secretary of Agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue arrives at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. March 23, 2017. 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. "It is good to have someone at the table fighting on behalf of rural America, and I look forward to working with Secretary Perdue as we develop a strong farm bill that improves the lives of America's farmers and ranchers", said House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway in a written statement.

Up first on Perdue's to-do list: smoothing a dairy trade flare-up with Canada. This is not, however, the same family as runs Perdue Farms, the large poultry company. "Perdue and consulting his department for its technical expertise as a new Farm Bill is crafted later this year". Since exports are a major source of US farm income, producers are looking to Perdue to advocate for their needs in trade talks.

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USDA officials need to keep farmers at top of mind as they go about daily business, Perdue said.

"I stand as a willing partner to work with Secretary Perdue and President Trump to address this urgent issue", Baldwin said.

The confirmation of Perdue has also been praised by several industry organizations.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY also talked to Trump about the dairy issue last week in a rare phone call between the two men.