Allies of the North American Gamebird Association at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation are giving incoming Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue a warm welcome.
“We look forward to working with Secretary Perdue on a number of issues that are of great importance to America’s sportsmen and women; especially with the reauthorization of a strong conservation title of the Farm Bill,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation president Jeff Crane. “His background and ability to work across both sides of the aisle will be crucial as negotiations for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization are underway.”
Co-founder of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and good friend of Perdue, the Honorable Lindsay Thomas, is also encouraged by the nomination, “As a current farm owner and someone who grew up in a small agriculture community in Georgia, I know first-hand the difficulties farmers are facing these days and I feel confident our new Secretary of Agriculture will have a strong voice at the table.”
Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony April 25 at the Supreme Court building.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on Monday evening. After Secretary Perdue took the oath of office, he addressed employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) before getting to work on his first day.
“The only legacy that I seek is the only one that any grandparent or parent seeks, to be good stewards, and to hand off our nation, our home, our fields, our forests, and our farms to the next generation in better shape than we found it,” Perdue said. “Making sure that Americans who make their livelihoods in the agriculture industry have the ability to thrive will be one of my top priorities. I am committed to serving the customers of USDA, and I will be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.”
Secretary Perdue grew up on a dairy farm in rural Georgia. The work ethic cemented in him by his farming roots has remained with Perdue throughout his life. As a younger man, he served his country in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of Captain. After earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, he put that training to use in private practice in North Carolina.
As a member of the Georgia State Senate for eleven years, he eventually ascended to the position of President Pro Tempore as elected by his senate colleagues. As a two-term governor of Georgia, he was a member of the bipartisan Governors Sportsman’s Caucus and was credited with transforming a budget deficit into a surplus, dramatically increasing the student performance in public schools, and fostering an economic environment that allowed employers to flourish and manufacturers and agricultural producers to achieve record levels of exports.
He followed these accomplishments with a successful career in agribusiness, where he focused on commodities and transportation in enterprises that have spanned the southeastern United States.
In a recent statement from Perdue, he stated, “Making sure Americans who make their livelihood in the agriculture industry are thriving is near and dear to my heart and I’m going to champion the concerns of American agriculture and work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families in this new role.”
Upon nominating Secretary Perdue in January, President Donald J. Trump said, “Sonny Perdue is going to accomplish great things as Secretary of Agriculture. From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face, and he is going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land.”
Perdue has been married to Mary Ruff Perdue for 44 years and has four adult children and fourteen grandchildren. He and his wife have served as foster parents for eight children awaiting adoption. Perdue remains a licensed airplane and helicopter pilot and avid outdoor sportsman.