Sonny Perdue, confirmed by the Senate as the new agriculture secretary


The executive order, according to Ray Starling, special assistant to the President for agriculture, will require the task force, led by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, to produce a report for the President in 180 days on the impediments to farming in the US. "His long-standing ties to major agribusiness and chemical companies have made him out of touch with American values", said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Friends of the Earth Food Futures campaigner.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, said Perdue will serve US agriculture well and "will work to ensure that agriculture is a top priority in the new Administration".

In her one-on-one meeting with Perdue earlier this year and during his hearing, Heitkamp pressed Perdue on the importance of working with Congress to secure a strong Farm Bill in 2018.

Perdue, 70, served as Georgia governor between 2003 and 2011 and was a state senator for 11 years before that.

The White House hasn't said when Perdue will be sworn in, but he is scheduled to speak to USDA staff Tuesday morning. He is not related or affiliated with the food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms. 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.

David Schemm, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), believes Perdue is an ideal candidate for this leadership role due to Perdue's past experience in the ag industry.

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Also, Congress must reach agreement by the end of the week on a plan to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on September 30 or face a government shutdown. As agriculture secretary, he'll be in charge of around 100,000 employees and the nation's food and farm programs, including agricultural subsidies, conservation efforts, rural development programs, food safety and nutrition programs such as food stamps and federally-subsidized school meal, Kansas Sen.

"I've been waiting to see y'all and it looks like y'all been waiting to see me, too", Perdue said.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said Perdue will help facilitate recovery in small American towns.

"That is a problem, a constant issue for agriculture that is not new", Starling said, adding "It is perhaps more pressing now".

Perdue's biggest task will be his department's input on the five-year farm bill, which expires next year.