President Trump Nominates Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was established as an independent department by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to advocate for improvements in the agriculture and farming industries. The USDA consists of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees. With more than 4,500 locations, the USDA serves countless Americans in areas such as food safety and availability.

Additionally, the USDA plays an important role in feeding more than 40 million low-income and homeless Americans through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, which was once known as the Food Stamp Program, is controlled by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which receives the largest portion of the USDA’s annual budget. Despite the Department of Agriculture’s vital importance, it was not elevated to cabinet-level status until 1889 by President Grover Cleveland.

Today, the USDA plays an important role in providing leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition and related issues based on public policy, the best available science and effective management. The Secretary of Agriculture oversees the department and establishes department policies, prioritizes research projects and helps to set the department’s goals.

Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was recently nominated by President Donald Trump as the next Department of Agriculture Secretary. Sonny Perdue is  a great addition to President Trump’s cabinet and is abundantly qualified for the position. Perdue earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine and worked as a veterinarian while owning multiple small businesses before entering the world of politics. As he was being considered for the position, he pitched himself as someone with both “business and governmental experience” needed to be effective in the position.

As Governor of Georgia, Perdue worked to cut excess spending and directly shaped agricultural policy in a state with an agriculture sector worth $74 billion. President Trump noted in a statement that Perdue understands agriculture from growing up on a farm and presiding over a large 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.”

Although he has not yet participated in a Senate confirmation hearing, Perdue is well qualified to run the Department of Agriculture. His experience in both the public and private sectors make him a distinguished and unique selection.

In Depth: Agriculture

In a 1787 letter to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “[a]griculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.” Agriculture, perhaps more so than any other vocation or enterprise, is indelibly American. Defined as the cultivation of plants,…

+ Agriculture In Depth