Trump Taps Perdue for Next Sec. of Ag


January 19, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump selects former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue as his nominee to become the next Secretary of Agriculture.

Perdue was one of the first candidates to meet with President-elect Trump on November 30, 2016. If confirmed, Perdue will be the first Ag Secretary from a Southern state in more than two decades. Former Ag Secretary Mike Espy from Mississippi served from January 1993 to December 1994 during former President Bill Clinton’s first term in office.

Facts about Sonny Perdue:

  • Grew up on row crop farm in Georgia
  • Earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia in 1971
  • Spent 11 years representing middle Georgia in the State Senate
  • Served as Governor of Georgia from 2003-2011
  • Owns a number of grain and feed processing, transportation and export companies
  • While he shares a name with the nation’s fourth largest chicken processor, he has no relation to Perdue Farms
  • Campaigned on behalf of his cousin David Perdue who is now Georgia’s Senator serving on the Agriculture Committee
  • Sonny and his wife, Mary, have four children and 11 grandchildren

Trump considered a variety of candidates, but finalized his choice just two nights before his inauguration. It’s the longest wait for an Ag Secretary nominee since Franklin Roosevelt nominated Henry Wallace in 1933.

Several Ag leaders released statements, including American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall who says, “I have known Governor Perdue for years. I’ve seen first-hand his commitment to the business of agriculture as we worked together on issues facing farmers and ranchers in our home state of Georgia. He understands the challenges facing rural America because that’s where he was born and raised.”