“Gov. Perdue understands Southern agriculture and is a long-time friend of farmers,” said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “He was raised on a farm and appreciates the importance of agriculture to our health, security and economy.”
As governor, Perdue, 70, represented diverse agricultural commodities — from peanuts and poultry to forestry and feed grains. Parnell said Perdue’s experience will bring fresh perspective to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We look forward to working with Secretary Perdue and his team to ensure USDA programs and services address the needs of farmers of all commodities and all regions of the country,” Parnell said. “As Congress begins work on a new farm bill, it will be important to have a Secretary of Agriculture who understands the role USDA plays in agriculture, conservation, risk management, nutrition and trade.”
The son of a teacher and farmer, Perdue was born in Perry, Georgia. A veterinarian by trade, Perdue is a graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He served 10 years in the Georgia Senate before being elected governor in 2002. He easily won re-election in 2006.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall worked with Perdue while president of Georgia Farm Bureau.
“The nomination of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture is welcome news to the nation’s farmers and ranchers,” Duvall said. “Gov. Perdue will provide the strong voice that agriculture needs in the new administration. He is an outstanding nominee.
“I have known Gov. Perdue for years. I’ve seen firsthand his commitment to the business of agriculture as we worked together on issues facing farmers and ranchers in our home state of Georgia,” Duvall added. “He understands the challenges facing rural America because that’s where he was born and raised. He is a businessman who recognizes the impact immigration reform, trade agreements and regulation have on a farmer’s bottom line and ability to stay in business from one season to the next.”
Perdue has a long history in the grain and feed industry. He was a founding partner for AGrow Star, a grain business with 11 elevator locations across Georgia and South Carolina. He serves on the National Grain and Feed Association and as secretary for the Georgia Agribusiness Council. He previously served as president of the Southeastern Grain and Feed Association.
A man of faith, Perdue garnered national headlines as governor for leading a public prayer for rain on the Capitol steps during a drought.
Perdue’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.
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