Senate Confirms Trump Agriculture Secretary Pick

Agriculture Secretary-designate former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue arrives to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry Committee. After

Senate Confirms Trump Agriculture Secretary Pick

"We will be asking Secretary Perdue to establish a task force that does a 180-day review of regulation and policy, legislation that unnecessarily hinders economic growth in the agriculture area", said Ray Starling, the special assistant to the president for agriculture.

The much-delayed appointment - the last announced Trump cabinet post, announced just a day before the January 20 inauguration - has prompted some to express concern that President Donald Trump has made a low priority of the rural and farm interests credited with his victory in November.

The White House has not said when Mr Perdue will be sworn in, but he is scheduled to speak to USDA staff on Tuesday morning.

The White House is expected to give Secretary Perdue the running room to name his own team, but some of these appointments are more pressing than others.

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Perdue, 70, will serve as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, and the first from Georgia. Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump's nominee for US trade representative, and Alexander Acosta, nominated to head the Labor Department, still await confirmation. "I was proud to cast my vote today in support of Sonny Perdue".

Perdue replaces Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa Democratic governor who served in the Obama administration.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson expressed confidence that Perdue will be able to make up for lost time, but acknowledged that he has a lot on his plate. He is the first Secretary of Agriculture from Georgia, and I know he will make us proud. Trump has proposed a 21 percent cut in USDA programs and has harshly criticized some global trade deals, saying they have killed American jobs.

Perdue was confirmed overwhelmingly by the Senate Monday. "Perdue proved he possesses the experience and expertise to lead in this pivotal role", Sen.

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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.

"I want to congratulate Sonny Perdue on his long-overdue confirmation to Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture".

Hill and other Midlands farming groups say they have that now in Perdue - and not a moment too soon. It also means protecting risk management programs during a weak economy, and beginning preparations for the next farm bill.

"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. The council meant to improve the effectiveness of federal programs that served rural America, promote private-sector partnerships, and engage stakeholders on rural issues.

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