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Trump says Perdue Will Deliver Big Results at USDA
USAgNet - 01/20/2017

Donald Trump said Thursday that he expects former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, his choice to lead the Agriculture Department, will "deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land." Agriculture secretary was the final Cabinet post to be announced by Trump, who is set to take office Friday.

Perdue, 70, is a farmer's son who built businesses in grain trading and trucking before becoming the first Republican governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, reports the Associated Press.

Perdue, from the small city of Bonaire in rural central Georgia, would be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades. He is not related to or affiliated with the food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms.

"From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face, and he is going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land," Trump said in a statement.

Perdue, in a statement released by Trump's transition team, said he began as "a simple Georgia farm boy," and he pledged to "champion the concerns of American agriculture and work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families."

Agriculture secretaries are often from the Midwest, where corn and soybeans dominate the markets. U.S. farm policy has long been favorable to those crops, and congressional battles over massive farm bills every five years often divide along regional lines. Southerners have pushed for subsidy programs that are more favorable to rice and cotton, which can be more expensive to grow.

The last three agriculture secretaries were from Iowa, North Dakota and Nebraska.

Many farm-state lawmakers and agriculture groups grew concerned as Trump approached his inauguration without having named an agriculture secretary candidate. Earlier Thursday, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted that he was frustrated with the process.

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