Sonny Perdue will be the agriculture secretary in President Donald Trump’s administration, having the mission of getting the farming industry back on its feet. The Senate confirmed the former Georgia Governor on Monday, but it’s unclear when he will be sworn in.
Supported by Democrats
The son of a farmer from Bonaire, Georgia, Sonny Perdue was appointed by a majority of 87-11, thanks to several Democrats who believe in his abilities and backed a Trump nominee, according to CNBC.
Perdue will be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades, and although he owned several agricultural businesses, he has no actual connections with food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms. In fact, just after he got his nomination, the 70-years old agriculture secretary said he would step down from several companies bearing his name to avoid conflicts of interest.
The former Governor’s mission won’t be easy. in March, at this confirmation, Perdue had to deal with nervous farm-state senators, upset by Trump’s proposal to cut some farm programs. To calm them down, he assured them he will advocate for rural America and he promised to reach out to Democrats.
A tough job for Mr. Perdue
100,000 employees and the nation’s food and farm programs will be under his supervision, including agricultural subsidies, conservation efforts, rural development programs, food safety and nutrition programs. With farm prices down for several years and with a dispute with Canada’s dairy industry in progress, will Perdue have viable solutions?
Democrats surely think so. Even if they have little faith in Trump’s decision, they stand with Sonny Perdue, a possible “Messiah” for their problems. Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin encouraged the agriculture secretary to come to Wisconsin to talk to affected farmers, assuring him that he has his full support.