Senate Confirms Trump's Agriculture Secretary

The confirmation of Sonny Perdue as the 31 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has garnered praise and support from the cotton industry. In an 87 to 11 vote lawmakers voted in favor of Perdue, on the heels of Trumps first 100 days. The son of a farmer from Bonaire, Ga., he will be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades.

Perdue is now the head of the $140 billion agency, which dictates the nation's farm policy and also oversees the food stamp program.

"In Minnesota, where one-in-five jobs is tied to agriculture, farmers and ranchers help make up the backbone of our economy".

While at UGA, Perdue took undergraduate classes, played on the football team for one year as a walk-on and eventually went on to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1971. Trump has raised tensions on immigration with his pledge to build a wall at the Mexican-U.S. border. He is a real-world farmer himself and knows the business inside out.

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"There are compromises to be made, and President Trump says he is a deal-maker, so, hopefully, Mr". She added he understands the challenges farmers are facing.

"Now that we have our Secretary of Agriculture in place, we look forward to getting down to business to address serious issues that the Secretary has committed to working on as well as filling other key roles in the U.S. Department of Agriculture", said Paap.

That senate confirmation vote is expected any moment.

"I just was very impressed not only with his knowledge about agriculture across the country but most of all his willingness to want to learn about agriculture, particularly in Nebraska", Nelson said.

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But Perdue would have to contend with deep cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed by the president's budget, which could disproportionately affect rural residents and farmers nationwide, pitting him in between the White House's priorities and those of rural and agricultural interest groups. He also promised to reach out to Democrats, and several Democratic senators have said they will vote for him. He waited more than three months to complete the nomination process, partly due to the Trump administration's delay sending ethics paperwork to the Senate Committee on Agriculture. I plan to work closely with the new secretary on American trade interests, especially with regard to agricultural exports.

Current farm policy expires next year.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, said in his floor remarks Monday that he hoped, once confirmed, that Perdue would "fight against these damaging cuts" proposed by the White House, which he said would put a "nail in the coffin" of rural America.

"Sonny Perdue is the kind of leader the pork industry, and the entire livestock industry, needs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture", said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill.

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  • Theresa Obrien