April 25, 2017
By Jeff Helms
MONTGOMERY, Ala., April 25 — The Alabama Farmers Federation joined a chorus of agriculture groups praising the confirmation Monday of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.
“Secretary Perdue was raised on a farm, has worked in agriculture and understands the importance of farming and forestry to our economy,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “We look forward to working with him to ensure USDA programs and services address the needs of farmers of all commodities and all regions of the country.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall worked with Perdue while president of Georgia Farm Bureau. He noted the value of having someone who appreciates farming as a member of President Trump’s cabinet.
“Farm Bureau heartily congratulates Secretary Sonny Perdue on his new role leading our nation’s Agriculture Department,” Duvall said. “We are eager for agriculture to finally have a seat in the president’s cabinet, and we know Secretary Perdue is just as eager to get to work for farmers, consumers and rural America.
“Secretary Perdue is a long-time friend to me and farmers across Georgia, and soon to the millions of men and women across our country who feed and clothe our nation. He is a real-world farmer himself and knows the business inside out,” Duvall added. “He understands the impact farm labor shortages, trade agreements and regulations have on a farmer’s bottom line and ability to stay in business from one season to the next. There’s important work ahead for the secretary, and he’ll need to address these challenges against the backdrop of the biggest drop in farm prices and income we’ve seen in decades. But just like America’s farmers and ranchers, I know Secretary Perdue isn’t afraid of a hard day’s work. We are confident he is the right man for the job at hand.”
The son of a teacher and farmer, Perdue was born in Perry, Georgia. A veterinarian by trade, Perdue is a graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He served 10 years in the Georgia Senate before being elected governor in 2002. He easily won re-election in 2006.
Alabama Republicans Richard Shelby and Luther Strange were among 86 U.S. senators who voted to confirm Perdue.
“Agriculture is the number one industry in Alabama, and I believe Secretary Perdue will be an excellent proponent of our state’s interests,” Shelby said. “I offer him my congratulations and look forward to working with him on issues impacting our farmers and rural communities.”
Strange also praised Perdue’s leadership ability and understanding of agriculture.
“We have waited long enough for this critical opportunity, and I was proud to cast my vote today for Gov. Sonny Perdue,” Strange said. “In him, the Department of Agriculture has a principled leader, and Alabama farmers have a loyal advocate who understands the unique concerns of Southern growers. As a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, I look forward to working with the Secretary on the upcoming farm bill as the voice of Alabama farmers.”
Perdue has a long history in the grain and feed industry. He was a founding partner for AGrow Star, a grain business with 11 elevator locations across Georgia and South Carolina. He serves on the National Grain and Feed Association and as secretary for the Georgia Agribusiness Council. He previously served as president of the Southeastern Grain and Feed Association.