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Former Georgia governor is new ag chief

25 April 2017

Trump will sign the executive order after a meeting with 15 farmers from across the country, including Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau; Bill Northey, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture; and Lisa Johnson Billy, a farmer and former Oklahoma House member, CNN reported on Monday. "He is the first Secretary of Agriculture from Georgia, and I know he will make us proud".

In the floor debate ahead of the vote, the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen.

"Governor Perdue's leadership is desperately needed", said Ms Stabenow, who voted for the nominee.

"Having not been confirmed, I've had no input into the budget, obviously", he told her, adding that as Georgia governor, he came across budgets he didn't always like, "but I managed to it".

He is from Georgia, was raised on a farm, and practiced as a veterinarian before returning to his home county to work in the grain business.

Trump's budget proposal suggests slashing the Agriculture Department's funding by 21 percent - a cut of $4.7 billion to $17.9 billion - the third-largest proposed cut to any federal agency. He later vowed to step down from his business holding company and restructure his family trusts in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest. "His strong production and agribusiness background makes him keenly aware of US agriculture's critical importance in feeding and clothing this country and the world, powering this nation's economy, and contributing to rural America's well-being". The U.S. Senate confirmed Perdue's nomination Monday afternoon. Before serving two terms as governor of Georgia, Perdue served in the Georgia state Senate.

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Perdue will take office as farm prices have been down for several years in a row, and some in the industry are looking for policy fixes to help revive the market.

Michael Conaway issued the following statement upon the confirmation of Governor Sonny Perdue as the 31st Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It also means protecting risk management programs during a weak economy, and beginning preparations for the next farm bill.

"We particularly look forward to working towards finding solutions for dairy producers, as discussed during the confirmation process", he said.

The last remaining cabinet-level role in Trump's administration, secretary of labor, has yet to be filled.

As tensions between the US and Canada grow over the dairy trade dispute, the National Milk Producers Federation said Perdue's support of the export markets is critical.

The Agriculture Committee received many letters in support of his nomination, including support from 6 former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture representing both Republican and Democratic presidents and another from almost 700 organizations across the agriculture and food value chain.