(Courtesy of the Congressional Western Caucus)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Vice Chairman for Indian Affairs and Oceans Rep. Don Young (AK-At Large), Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and Western Caucus members Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (TX-11), Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06), Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-01), Rep. Aumua Amata (American Samoa-At Large), Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-05), Rep. David Valadao (CA-21), Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03), and Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09) issued the following statements after former Georgia Governor George “Sonny” Perdue was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan vote of 87-11 to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
“Congratulations to our next Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on his confirmation this evening. Steeped in agriculture, I am confident that Governor Perdue is the best choice to work with farmers and ranchers throughout the country to ensure affordable and safe domestic food production for American families. As an outspoken supporter of maintaining healthy forests, I am optimistic that Mr. Perdue will work with our next Forest Service Chief to implement an active forest management approach and prevent catastrophic wildfires,” said Chairman Gosar. “Members of the Western Caucus look forward to working closely with our next Secretary of Agriculture. I couldn’t be more pleased to see the Senate confirm someone raised on a farm and that worked in the industry as an adult to lead the Department.”
Congressman Young stated, "I congratulate Governor Perdue on his confirmation and wish him well as he takes charge of an agency so closely connected to the fabric of our nation," said Congressman Don Young. "It's my hope, that as Secretary, he can begin addressing the systematic failures in management by the U.S. Forest Service and restore faith within our nation's many timber communities. For too long, the Forest Service has thumbed its nose at the multiple use mandate -- eliminating countless jobs and new opportunities for growth. This must change and I'm optimistic it can be done under Sonny's watch."
“I congratulate Sonny Perdue on his confirmation as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Perdue’s extensive background in ag combined with his executive experience make him highly qualified for this position. I look forward to working with Secretary Perdue on the many issues of importance to Arkansas farmers and ranchers,” said Congressman Westerman.
“Today is a great day for American agriculture. Secretary Perdue is a strong friend of America's farmers and ranchers, and I know he will work to ensure that agriculture is a top priority in the new Administration,” said Congressman Conaway. “President Trump has made it clear he supports a good farm bill that is delivered on time and includes a strong safety net for our nation’s farmers. That is absolutely critical as rural America struggles against the largest 4-year percentage decline in net farm income since the start of the Great Depression. It is good to have someone at the table fighting on behalf of rural America, and I look forward to working with Secretary Perdue as we develop a strong farm bill that improves the lives of America’s farmers and ranchers.”
“Today’s confirmation of Sonny Perdue as our next Secretary of Agriculture is a huge win for farmers in Minnesota and around the country,” said Emmer. “After nearly a decade of struggles due to unnecessary and burdensome regulations, our agriculture community will now see the relief they have been asking for so they can focus on producing and providing for American families. I also applaud Secretary Perdue’s stance on lifting the Cuban embargo for the benefit this would bring to our ag industry, and look forward to working with him on this important issue,” said Congressman Emmer.
“I want to congratulate Sonny Perdue on his long-overdue confirmation to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His leadership is especially relevant as producers face record world surpluses and depressed farm prices. Throughout this long process, one silver lining has been the broad, bipartisan support shown for Perdue, and support coming from all over the ag community. It shows that agriculture can still put partisanship aside for the good of our country, economy and our producers. I welcome the chance to work hand-in-hand with the Secretary as we help producers navigate existing programs and as we look toward the 2018 farm bill,” said Congressman Marshall. “In addition to farm and nutrition policy, I expect Perdue to be a sound champion for trade, something I have heard time and again from Kansans concerned about our ability to open new markets for products made in Kansas. Secretary Perdue's experience as an exporter and governor leading trade missions will be invaluable as this administration pursues trade policy. As I have said before, Perdue’s background growing up on a farm, his service in the military as a veterinarian, as well as his career in agribusiness and successful tenure as governor, make him a good fit to lead the US Department of Agriculture at this critical time for our nation’s farmers and ranchers.”
Aumua Amata stated, “I want to congratulate the new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on his confirmation today. I know he will do a great job in leading the USDA.”
“I congratulate Secretary Perdue on his confirmation and I look forward to working together,” remarked Congressman Thompson. “His appointment brings executive experience and real world knowledge to the post. In the coming years, and as we write the next Farm Bill, Secretary Perdue will be an important advocate for the agriculture industry and rural America.”
“As the Representative for the nation’s leading ag producing district, I am excited the Senate has confirmed Mr. Sonny Perdue as our Secretary of Agriculture and I look forward to working with him and the Department of Agriculture,” stated Congressman Valadao. “Secretary Perdue has the experience and knowledge to lead the department and ensure our farmers and ranchers have the tools and resources they need to feed the country.”
“Today’s confirmation of Secretary Perdue is great news for Nebraska agriculture,” remarked Congressman Smith. “At my Farm Bill listening sessions last week, producers made it clear they wanted to see Secretary Perdue confirmed as soon as possible so we can hit the ground running on agriculture policy. With his wide range of experience as a farmer, businessman, and governor, Secretary Perdue is well-positioned to lead the USDA in helping create more opportunity for U.S. producers.”
“Sonny Perdue’s confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture represents an outstanding addition to the President’s Cabinet. Secretary Perdue’s leadership at the USDA will bring benefits to agricultural communities across our country, including northeast Georgia’s poultry and livestock industries,” said Congressman Collins.
As a result of confirmation by the Senate today, Governor Perdue will be the 31st Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.
An archived webcast of Perdue’s nomination hearing that was held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 can be found HERE.
More than 600 organizations representing farmers, ranchers, hunters, conservationists, businesses and other agriculture related fields throughout the country sent a letter supporting his nomination on February 2, 2017.
In the letter, these groups made clear their strong support Governor Purdue stating, “There have been 30 Secretaries of Agriculture since the job was created in 1889, and though some were raised on a farm, only two actually lived and worked in agriculture as adults. If confirmed, Sonny Perdue will be number three…Given his background of growing up on a diversified row crop and dairy operation in Central Georgia, his service in the United States Air Force, and his background in founding three agribusiness firms supplying services to farmers, Gov. Perdue is eminently qualified to lead USDA...Gov. Perdue has proved to be a dedicated servant of the concerns of rural America with a long history of supporting rural infrastructure, agricultural water use projects, and proper forest management.”