President Trump has selected former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as his nominee for Agriculture secretary. While we would have preferred Abel Maldonaldo, a Californian, Mr. Purdue looks like a great choice. He was raised on a family farm in Georgia, studied veterinary science in college, then volunteered to serve in the US Air Force. After his military service Purdue worked as a veterinarian, then was a founding partner in Agrow Star, a grain business in Georgia and South Carolina.
He also served on several boards that serve Ag interests and was president of the Southeastern Grain and Feed Association. His first public office was county zoning commissioner, then was elected state senator and later a representative. He was elected as a democrat, but after serving his term switched parties and won office as a republican. In 2002 he became Georgia’s first Republican Governor since the Reconstruction era after the civil war.
He sounds like an excellent choice. Last December Purdue told Politico that he sees the new Ag Secretary’s job as insuring “that USDA branches across the nation are friendly environments for all farmers and ranchers.”
But of course, there are things the other side of the street doesn’t like about him. First is, he may not be willing to enforce rules that could harm ag interests. He’s also a climate change denier, like many in agriculture. But what is possibly most offensive to some on the left, in 2007, Perdue held a prayer vigil at the state capitol to pray for rain.
Georgia was in severe drought then, and he was signing into law some water conservation measures. Several hundred people joined him on the lawn of the state building as he called on all people of faith to ask for God to bring on the rain.
He was heavily criticized for this prayer vigil. But none of the folks that were upset about that seemed to mind at all that the rains came and Georgia was out of its drought not long afterward.
Who knows if it was the prayer vigil…
I’m Len WIlcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.