Senate Votes on Ag Secretary


This afternoon, the United States Senate voted to confirm former Georiga Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as the next Secretary of Agriculture. The vote was 87 to 11. 

Perude is expected to be sworn in Tuesday, Aprl 25th. 

The following agriculture groups made the following statements on the confirmation vote. 

The Montana Farm Bureau applauds today’s confirmation of Sonny Perdue as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. 

“Sonny Perdue has a well-rounded background in agriculture as well as in public service,” said Montana Farm Bureau Federation President Hans McPherson. “His experience as a large animal veterinarian as well as being a farmer and involved in agribusiness speaks well of his ability to understand the trials and tribulations of farming and ranching. The fact that he was a governor shows his ability to work with constituents and have good leadership skills.”

McPherson noted that Perdue has challenges ahead with a new farm bill looming and low commodity prices hurting farmers’ and ranchers’ bottom line. “Farm Bureau members have confidence that Sonny Perdue is the man for this tough job. In addition, the fact that he and American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall work well together certainly shows a bright future for Farm Bureau and American agriculture. Sonny Perdue has been a personal friend of Farm Bureau for a long time. Farm Bureau members everywhere should be very excited to have him as Secretary of Agriculture.”

“We’ve agonized with this long confirmation period but we appreciate our political system and how it works. Now that we have a new secretary, it’s time to move forward with trade issues and trade policy. Trade is very important to agriculture,” concluded McPherson.

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President David Schemm:

“NAWG extends our congratulations to Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. His experience as a farmer and a governor of an agriculture state make him an ideal candidate to run the country’s leading authority on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition policy.
“Governor Perdue’s confirmation comes at a critical time as negotiations for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization are underway and as the White House drafts a new trade agenda. He recognizes the essential roles that immigration, trade, and regulation play in a farmer’s ability to run their business, all of which will shape the debate as congress works to pass the Farm Bill and appropriations bills. As farmers face challenging economic times, we have confidence that Governor Perdue will bring the agriculture industry back on track.
“We applaud Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for their bi-partisan leadership and cooperation throughout the confirmation process. We look forward to working with Governor Perdue and the new administration on maintaining and forming policies that improve the livelihoods of wheat producers across the country.”

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Kenny Graner issued the following statement on the confirmation of Sonny Perdue to the position of Secretary of Agriculture:
“On behalf of the USCA membership, and cattle producers across the country, we wish to officially welcome Sonny Perdue as the Secretary of Agriculture.”
“USCA has continued its work since the November election and is eager to engage with Secretary Perdue and his staff on a number of issues facing the U.S. livestock industry.  Our industry continues to face challenges both domestically and internationally: trade remains a critical issue as we look to expand our markets back in to China, while simultaneously facing food safety issues out of Brazil; consumers are demanding clear origin labeling and competition and true price discovery in our markets must once again be achieved.”
“The list of issues facing our industry is long, but we stand ready to work with Secretary Perdue and his staff to ensure U.S. cattle producers are provided a fair and competitive marketplace.  USCA is confident that Secretary Perdue will be a strong voice for America’s agriculture industry and our rural communities and commends Congress and the Administration on this critical confirmation.”

The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:

“The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Secretary Perdue on his confirmation. USDA has been without a Secretary for too long, but we are confident that Secretary Perdue will bring strong leadership to the Department. There are still more than 200 political appointments at USDA that have yet to be made. We strongly urge the Administration to move quickly in filling these positions.

“We are ready to partner with Secretary Perdue and the rest of the Administration to build a better farm economy. That begins with strong trade policy and continued investment in renewable fuels. It also means protecting risk management programs during a weak economy, and beginning preparations for the next farm bill. There is much work to do, and we are eager to begin.”

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the announcement:
“Having endured months of the current farm crisis and drastic policy changes in Washington without a Secretary of Agriculture, family farmers and ranchers are relieved that Sonny Perdue has finally been confirmed to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We are hopeful Perdue will provide rural America with a strong voice in Washington. NFU stands ready to assist the new Secretary as he navigates the myriad issues facing family agriculture and rural communities.
“Following his confirmation, Perdue will need to work immediately to address the depressed farm economy, offering assistance to struggling farmers across the country. We particularly look forward to working towards finding solutions for dairy producers, as discussed during the confirmation process. Additionally, NFU urges Perdue to quickly review and approve the long-overdue Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which will provide farmers and ranchers with basic protections against anti-competitive practices.
“As Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue is taking on the important and demanding role of advocating for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Although there is much to be done, we are optimistic that he is up to the task.”

Picture: flickr

Montana Farm Burea, NAWG, USCA, NCGA and NFU


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