Under Secretary Perdue, the USDA will always be facts-based and data-driven, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. It was a long wait. , On January 18, 2017, incoming President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Perdue to be United States secretary of agriculture. He has lived and breathed the exhilaration of a great crop and the despair and devastation of a drought. Perdue wrote that "liberals have lost all credibility when it comes to climate science because their arguments have become so ridiculous and so obviously disconnected from reality. He enjoys flying and, in a 2003 incident, was accused of flying a state helicopter without a license. I would like to welcome all participants to today’s telephonic press briefing with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who will share U.S. perspectives on the global challenges of agricultural sustainability, food security, and trade, in addition to … And today, those land resources sustain more than 320 million Americans and countless millions more around the globe. , Perdue was born in Perry, Georgia, the son of Ophie Viola (Holt), a teacher, and George Ervin Perdue Jr., a farmer. Transcript: HH: So pleased to welcome to the program a member of the cabinet of the United States, the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. The USDA's press office rejected CNN's request to interview Ziska, but not Politico's, where he went on to describe the department as internally fearful of Perdue's open skepticism towards climate change, which, according to Ziska, has led officials to "go to extremes to obscure their work to avoid political blowback". Welcome to our New Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue. The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry overwhelmingly approved his nomination on March 30, with a 19–1 vote.  The choices were a modified version of the First National Flag of the Confederate States of America, with the Georgia State Seal prominently displayed inside a circle of 13 stars, or the flag created in 2001 by the Roy Barnes administration. of Agriculture", "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress – 1st Session", "Meet David Perdue—He Might Be Georgia's Next Senator", National Governors Association: Sonny Perdue, "Trump taps former Georgia governor for agriculture secretary", "Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue – Perdue Farms Plans Major Expansion in Georgia", "Official Results of the November 5, 2002 General Election", "Ethical Lapses Trail Nominee For Agriculture – Conflicts of Interest as Governor of Georgia", "3 minutes, 1 tax bill, $100,000 for Sonny Perdue", "Georgia climbs in SAT rankings despite drop in score", "2008 SAT Results Highlight Need for Rigor", "Georgia View: Sonny Perdue's Non-Legacy", "Georgia leaders try to skip controversy in flag vote", "Tom Price, Kasim Reed, Sonny Perdue and the Art of the Georgia Deal", "Statement of Governor Sonny Perdue Regarding Court Ruling to Stay Transition to Reformulated Gasoline", "Georgia Enacts a Tough Law on Immigrants", The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The "Great Truth", "Trump could name Agriculture Secretary whose drought strategy was to pray for rain", "Yes, There Were Black Confederates. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 24, with Bernie Sanders and nine Democrats voting against him. , In 2006, Perdue's financial disclosure forms revealed that he had a net worth of approximately $6 million and received compensation of $700,000 that year.  In December 2018, he changed the nutrition standards for school lunches to allow more refined grains, allow milk with added sugar, and increased sodium.  They have four children (Leigh, Lara, Jim, and Dan), 14 grandchildren (six boys and eight girls), and have also been foster parents for many children. , In December 2004, Perdue bought $2 million worth of land near Disney World from a developer whom he had previously appointed to the state's economic development board. , Perdue was elected as a Democrat in 1991, 1994, and 1996. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, right, speaks as President Donald Trump looks on during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, at the White House in …  He previously served as the 81st Governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011; Perdue was the first Republican to hold the office since the Reconstruction era.. Perdue has pledged to be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue hit the ground running on the very day he was sworn in, greeting employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture … He won the 2002 Georgia gubernatorial election, defeating Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes 51% to 46%, with Libertarian candidate Garrett Michael Hayes taking 2% of the vote. His cabinet position was the last to be filled by President Donald Trump, and is the latest starting date for an agriculture secretary in an incoming administration since the USDA became a cabinet department in 1889. As governor, he reformed state budget priorities, helped Georgians create more than 200,000 new jobs, and promoted his home state around the world to attract new businesses. Sonny Perdue came by his knowledge of agriculture the old fashioned way: he was born into a farming family in Bonaire, Georgia. But who is the white-haired, southern man behind the headlines? As a younger man, he served his country in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of Captain. The design of the 2001 Georgian flag was widely unpopular, being derisively named the "Barnes flag". , In education, Perdue promoted the return of most decision-making to the local level. Secure .gov websites use HTTPS Here’s a day in the life of your Secretary of Agriculture. He recognizes that the size, scope, and diversity of America’s agricultural sector requires reaching across the aisle so that partisanship doesn’t get in the way of good solutions for American farmers, ranchers, and consumers. Sonny Perdue, 70, became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture upon confirmation in April. He earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. As the product of Georgia, a state where agriculture is the leading economic driver, Perdue recognizes that agriculture is an issue and industry which cuts across political party boundaries. Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue remains a licensed airplane and helicopter pilot and avid outdoor sportsman. George Ervin " Sonny " Perdue III (born December 20, 1946) is an American politician. Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture and former Governor of Georgia, spoke with Jason Chaffetz on The Brian Kilmeade Show about the upcoming Georgia senate runoff election. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 24, with Bernie Sandersand nine Democrats includ… As a state senator, he was recognized as a leading authority on issues including energy and utilities, agriculture, transportation, emerging technologies and economic development, and for his ability to grasp the nuances of complex problems. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue entered the Trump administration with a long ethics recusal letter and an extensive financial disclosure report that included a web of Georgia-based entities, including Perdue Partners and AGrowStar. Governor Perdue, welcome, it’s great to have you with us. He learned by experience what his father told him as a child, “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.”. Third, as Americans expect a safe and secure food supply, USDA will continue to serve in the critical role of ensuring the food we put on the table to feed our families meets the strict safety standards we’ve established. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has helped keep farmers’ support of President Trump “overwhelmingly solid,” acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said. He led the state of Georgia, which has more than 42,000 farms and a $74 billion agriculture sector. The sole vote against him came from Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate former Georgia Gov. Official websites use .gov In January 2003, he became the first … , In 2006, while still governor, Perdue made a cameo appearance as the coach of the East Carolina Pirates football team in the movie We Are Marshall, large portions of which were filmed in Georgia. Erin Morris, Acting Deputy Administrator. Washington, DC 20250 Dear Secretary Perdue: Thank you for the important work that you are doing to promote and restore economic opportunities in our rural communities. His committee assignments included Ethics, Finance & Public Utilities, Health & Human Services, Reapportionment and Economic Development, Tourism & Cultural Affairs. Secretary of Agriculture. The work ethic cemented in him by his farming roots has remained with Sonny Perdue throughout his life. , Upon the end of Perdue's term as Governor, many in the Georgia General Assembly condemned the project and Perdue after an advisory council (appointed by Perdue) began to funnel additional bond money to the project located in his home county. As the son of a mother who was an English teacher for 42 years, he benefitted from her teachings as well – not just by instilling in him the beliefs he still holds dear, but also by lending him an appreciation and respect for language and proper grammar. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue pledged in 2017 to separate himself from his multimillion dollar business holdings that could pose conflicts of interest in his public duties. Perdue addressed the crowd, saying "We've come together here simply for one reason and one reason only: to very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm" and "God, we need you; we need rain". Conley. U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. He and his wife have served as foster parents for eight children awaiting adoption.  Perdue disappointed some Georgians by not making the 1956 flag one of the choices on the ballot, despite a campaign promise to do so. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue Comments on Federal Aid Program “This first draft [of the program] is probably going to be in the $16 to $18 billion dollars, $16 billion in direct payments to our producers really in all of our sectors, including cattle, livestock, the cash cow count, calf operations, hogs, as well as produce, specialty crops, and commodities. Sonny Perdue came by his knowledge of agriculture the old fashioned way: he was born into a farming family in Bonaire, Georgia. Libertarian Garrett Michael Hayes was also on the ballot. , Perdue was the designated survivor on January 30, 2018 for President Trump's first State of the Union address. He served as the 81st governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011. Donald Trump has chosen former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue to be his secretary of agriculture, completing a protracted search with implications for how the president-elect plans to … , During his tenure as Secretary of Agriculture, Perdue has focused on helping new farmers get started in agriculture. The sole vote against him came from Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). He will seek solutions to problems and not lament that the agency might be faced with difficult challenges. After Perdue took office, in 2003 and 2004, Georgia moved up from last place in the country in SAT scores. The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry overwhelmingly approved his nomination on March 30, with a 19–1 vote. Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America, delivering his speech during the World Food Day Ceremony 2017, FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy.  The land was eventually sold to developers; however, the state was evaluating bidding on the property and keeping it as a reserve. , Under Perdue, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been accused of suppressing scientific publications for political reasons. As a member of the Georgia State Senate for eleven years, he eventually ascended to the position of President Pro Tempore as elected by his senate colleagues. Uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, 2017.  Prior to Perdue's becoming governor, no state agency had compiled an inventory of what assets were owned by the state. An official website of the United States government. A lock ( LockA locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. The United States is blessed to be able to produce more than its citizens can consume, which implies that we should sell the bounty around the world. He switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 1998 and was re-elected to the State Senate as a Republican.  The State Ethics Commission ruled against Perdue twice, finding that he had taken improper campaign contributions from donors including SunTrust Banks and that he had improperly used one of his family business's airplanes on campaign, for which the commission fined the sitting governor.  The floods resulted in Perdue declaring a state of emergency in 17 counties. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday called the coronavirus a "pandemic," using a term that has not been used by the White House or government health agencies as …  His nomination was approved by the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on March 30 by a 19–1 voice vote, and by the entire Senate in a vote of 87–11 on April 24. Perdue is the first cousin of U.S. At his confirmation hearing, Chairman Pat Roberts said that Governor The Georgia Department of Natural Resources figures showed 21,101 people visited the Perry facility in fiscal 2015, which ended June 30.  Perdue also created additional opportunities for charter schools and private schools. Here's Why", "USGS Release: Atlanta Flooding Sets New Records", "Gov. Donald Trump Will Name Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue in the lobby of Trump Tower, … George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III (born December 20, 1946) is an American veterinarian, businessman and politician serving as the 31st and current United States Secretary of Agriculture since 2017. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has made headlines announcing a trade mitigation program and reorganizing the USDA since taking office in April 2017. In 2009, the Reason Foundation’s Innovators in Action magazine recognized Perdue as a leader who “aggressively pursued new strategies to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of government and deliver better value at less cost to taxpayers.” In addition, he was named “Public Official of the Year” in October 2010 by Governing Magazine. "To me it was a boondoggle because of the amount of money they were spending and the location," said Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. , In 2007, Perdue convinced a skeptical legislature to approve a $19 million fishing tourism program he called Go Fish Georgia. He also won reelection in 2000. He served as his party's leader in the Senate from 1994 to 1997 and as president pro tempore.  Perdue signed the legislation into law on April 12, 2005, three days before tax day. According to the Georgia government's website on Confederate History Month, they also participated in the manufacture of products for the war effort, built naval ships, and provided military assistance and relief efforts ..." The proclamation was criticized by historians for its historical inaccuracies, although there were, in fact, African-Americans who served the Confederacy. , In 1971, Perdue earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, and worked as a veterinarian before becoming a small business owner, eventually starting three small businesses.  Georgia voters chose the flag resembling the Confederate flag. , During meetings with Georgia state port officials, then-Governor Perdue discussed his family business's use of a terminal, then started a new export company in Savannah soon after leaving office.  The next year, Georgia was affected by the 2009 Southeastern United States floods, which were the most severe floods in Georgia's recorded history. Perdue’s father’s words still ring true: We’re all stewards of the land, owned or rented, and our responsibility is to leave it better than we found it. It's a little off the beaten path. Sonny Perdue has the experience to be agriculture secretary, with more than 20 years of public service. Charles S. Bullock, III, The Georgia Political Almanac, The General Assembly 1993–94. Governor Pierre Howard asking for more responsibilities, and Howard obliged. His Democratic opponent was Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor. ", The project overall has been scrutinized as a waste of taxpayer money due to mismanagement of bond money and extremely low visitors. The Honorable Sonny Perdue Secretary of Agriculture . He shortly after became a committee chairman, then climbed the leadership ladder to majority leader, then Senate president pro tempore. The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on Monday evening. , In mid-2003, Perdue purchased 101 acres (0.41 km2) of land next to his Houston County, Georgia, home. Additionally, Perdue recognizes that American agriculture needs a strong advocate to promote its interests to international markets. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, First National Flag of the Confederate States of America, North American Vexillological Association, List of American politicians who switched parties in office, "Former Georgia governor tapped as Trump's agriculture secretary, sources say", "Company Overview of Perdue Partners, LLC", "BPC Congratulates Sec. Sonny Perdue on Confirmation to Lead Dept. His nomination was transmitted to the U.S. Senate on March 9, 2017. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Perdue is a strong believer in good government, in that it should operate efficiently and serve the needs of its customers: the people of the United States.  Perdue failed to disclose his ownership of the property in required financial disclosure forms. The United States secretary of agriculture is the head of the United States Department of … And fourth, Perdue will always remember that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land. 5:30 a.m. , On November 13, 2007, while Georgia suffered from one of the worst droughts in several decades, Perdue led a group of several hundred people in prayer on the steps of the state Capitol. Food security is a key component of national security, because hunger and peace do not long coexist. He was sworn in by Supreme Court associate justice Clarence Thomas. As a youngster growing up on a dairy and diversified row crop farm in rural Georgia, Perdue never fully realized that the blessings of purposeful, meaningful work would serve him as well as they have in life. Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, speaks at the American Farm Bureau Federations 99th Annual Convention at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 8, 2018. He stated that “legitimate, measurable carbon trading” could spur so-called carbon sequestration by giving farmers an incentive to innovate. George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III was born in December 1946 in Perry, Georgia. From childhood, and through his life in business and elected office, Perdue has experienced the industry from every possible perspective. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "As the vigil ended, the sun shone through what had been a cloudy morning. Founder and partner in an agricultural trading company, Perdue served from 2012 to 2017 on the Governors' Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He is the second secretary of agriculture from the Deep South; the first was Mike Espy of Mississippi, who served under President Bill Clinton from January 1993 to December 1994. In his 2002 election campaign, Perdue promised that he would let the state's citizens vote to determine the state flag. , In February 2020, Perdue endorsed putting a price on carbon dioxide, a climate change policy favored by many economists. However, most served in the early years of the war and were either forced at gunpoint or feared reprisals for disloyalty.  During his governorship, Perdue collected at least $25,000 in gifts, including sporting event tickets and airplane flights. Second, he will prioritize customer service every day for American taxpayers and consumers. Sonny Perdue has served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture since 2017. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) abstained, as he is the nominee's first cousin. WASHINGTON - New research by nonpartisan government watchdog Accountable.US reported today in Politico shows Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has failed to disclose conflicts of interest. After earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, he put that training to use in private practice in North Carolina. To this day, his thoughts are never very far from the wishes of the citizens – the true owners of the government. Perdue then decided that the Go Fish Education Center would be built down the road from his home. From childhood, and through his life in business and elected office, Perdue has experienced the industry from every possible perspective. Sonny Perdue issues state of emergency for 17 Georgia counties", "Perdue fails to disclose '04 purchase of land", "Trump to announce Sonny Perdue for Agriculture", "Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture", "Trump hires campaign workers instead of farmworkers at USDA", "Sonny Perdue is Trump's 'designated survivor' for State of the Union 2018", "Perdue tells second Iowa Ag Summit he wants to support new farmers", https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/420184-trump-administration-to-return-refined-grains-to-school-lunches, "Economists flee Agriculture Dept.  After the state dropped out of the bidding and the land was sold to developers, the value of Perdue's property more than doubled. The relationship between the USDA and its trade representatives, as well as with the U.S. Trade Representative and Department of Commerce, will be vital.  In August 2017, he announced a mentoring program for new farmers.  The land was adjacent to the 20,000-acre Oaky Woods preserve being sold by Weyerhaeuser. Sonny Perdue is an American politician who served as the Secretary of agriculture since 2017 and was selected by President Donald Trump.Perdue is the 81st Governor of Georgia who served from 2003 to 2011. , 81st Governor of Georgia; 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, payments on the Go Fish bonds, approved by Perdue and the General Assembly in 2007, runs through December 2027 with most payments $1 million a year in bond money. On January 18, 2017, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture. after feeling punished under Trump", 'It feels like something out of a bad sci-fi movie', The Trump administration is suppressing climate science, "US agriculture secretary breaks ranks to endorse carbon pricing", "USDA chief violated Hatch Act by advocating for Trump re-election, gov't watchdog says", "USDA's Perdue fined for violating Hatch Act while promoting food boxes", "Perdue rebuked for violating ethics law by boosting Trump's reelection", "Agriculture secretary pick Perdue led big political change in Georgia", "Official: Perdue flew copter without license", "±Governor Perdue Makes Acting Debut in "We Are Marshall, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Presidential line of succession in the United States of America, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sonny_Perdue&oldid=996806165, Presidents pro tempore of the Georgia State Senate, Republican Party state governors of the United States, Military personnel from Georgia (U.S. state), Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 18:26. It should be the aim of the American government to remove every obstacle and give farmers, ranchers, and producers every opportunity to prosper. Uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April … The Senate has elected former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue as the new U.S. secretary of Agriculture, following an 87-11 bipartisan vote in his favor today. In December 2001, Perdue resigned as state senator and devoted himself entirely to running for the office of Governor of Georgia. The work of promoting American agricultural products to other countries will begin with those relationships and will benefit us domestically, just as it will fulfill the moral imperative of helping to feed the world. What is it like to be in his shoes? But more than anything in his life, it was the family farm which shaped Sonny Perdue. He appreciates the daily concerns and needs of American farmers, while also understanding the intricacies of global commodities markets.  In August 2019, Lewis Ziska, a USDA plant physiology climate scientist, quit after department administrators attempted to impede the publication of one of his studies to the journal Science Advances. However, Perdue was faced with a Democratic House that would not allow the 1956 flag to be included in the referendum, due to its Confederate origins, and he needed support for a tobacco tax he wanted to pass to raise revenue. Even though Perdue pledged during his confirmation process in 2017 to put his assets in a blind trust so that he would not benefit from decisions he makes as secretary, he appears not to have … He followed these accomplishments with a successful career in agribusiness, where he focused on commodities and transportation in enterprises that have spanned the southeastern United States. Perdue served in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of captain before his discharge.  In a 2014 editorial published by National Review, Perdue criticized attempts by "some on the left or in the mainstream media" to connect climate change to weather events. As public servants representing farmers, it is vital that we These experiences have proven invaluable in his current role as principal advocate for American agriculture and all that it serves. , Perdue advocated reforms designed to cut waste in government, most notably the sale of surplus vehicles and real estate. "You have got to have stuff where there is a lot of traffic. The administration began acquiring bond money for the Go Fish Education Center near his home in Perry,GA.  He grew up and still lives in Bonaire, an unincorporated area between Perry and Warner Robins. , In August 2020, Perdue supported the president's re-election while promoting the Farmers to Families Food Box Program; Perdue was fined for violating the Hatch Act. , Beginning in 2007, Governor Perdue began to pursue the goal of making Georgia the "bass-fishing tourism mecca". He is acknowledged as a national leader in agriculture, having served as a board member for the National Grain & Feed Association, and as President of both the Georgia Feed and Grain Association and the Southeastern Feed and Grain Association. Economists in the USDA's research branch were told to include disclaimers in their peer-reviewed publications stating that the findings were "preliminary" and "should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy".  In 2007, Georgia moved up to 46th place. , Perdue is an avid sportsman. Senator David Perdue by their grandfather George Erwin Perdue I. Although it returned to last place in 2005, Georgia rose to 49th place in 2006 in the combined math and reading mean score, including the writing portion added to the test that year. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to Address Farmer2Farmer Conference Secretary will meet with growers and address 4,000 attendees in Omaha November 25, … In fact, for the next two weeks after the prayer, the state's epic dry streak grew worse." , Perdue is not related to the family who owns and operates Perdue Farms (commonly associated with "Perdue Chicken").. (Washington, D.C., December 21, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today detailed which functions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will remain available in the event of a lapse in government funding. , Perdue was constitutionally ineligible to seek a third consecutive term as governor in the 2010 Georgia gubernatorial election.  In 2008, Georgia moved up again, to 45th place.  Perdue lives in Bonaire, Georgia. 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Environmental Protection Agency to block Environmental regulations on reformulated gasoline 1994, and Howard obliged unapologetic advocate for taxpayers. 2004, Perdue was constitutionally ineligible to seek a third consecutive term as governor in the U.S. Senate Secretary. Derisively named the `` bass-fishing tourism mecca '' always be facts-based and data-driven, with a 19–1.. Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W millions more around the globe and nine Democrats voting against him from.