April 11, 2017

Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture

  • Sonny Perdue has more than 20 years of experience as a public servant.
  • He grew up on a farm, worked as a veterinarian, and led a state with a $74 billion agriculture sector.
  • Governor Perdue’s nomination has received widespread bipartisan support, and he should be expeditiously confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


George “Sonny” Perdue served two terms as governor of Georgia, from 2003 to 2011. He served in the Georgia Senate from 1991 to 2001, rising to the role of president pro-tem. He was first elected as a Democrat and changed parties in 1998. He is a military veteran and served as a captain in the Air Force. Prior to his public service, he was a small business owner and a veterinarian, having earned a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia in 1971. Perdue was born into a family of farmers and grew up on a farm. He currently serves on the Governors’ Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Senate Action

President Trump announced his intent to nominate Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary on January 18. His nomination was received by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on March 9. The committee held a confirmation hearing on March 23. On March 30, he was reported out of committee favorably by voice vote.


Sonny Perdue has the experience to be agriculture secretary, with more than 20 years of public service. He led the state of Georgia, which has more than 42,000 farms and a $74 billion agriculture sector. At his confirmation hearing, Chairman Pat Roberts said that Governor Perdue “has spent his entire life in and around agriculture. ... While serving farmers throughout the Southeast, he gained firsthand experience with the complexity of transportation and the global commodities market.”

His nomination has received widespread bipartisan support. President Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack endorsed Perdue: “As a former governor, he knows full well the opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities ... [and] will understand and pay attention to the many and varied interests that depend on the department, including efforts to provide all of us and especially our children, with safe, nutritious and affordable food.”

Issue Tags: Senate, Energy