WASHINGTON – After much delay, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has been sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. 

The Senate voted 87-11 Monday evening to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward Markey, D-Mass, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I, Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., voted against the nomination.

“The only legacy that I seek is the only one that any grandparent or parent seeks – to be good stewards, and to hand off our nation, our home, our fields, our forests, and our farms to the next generation in better shape than we found it,” Perdue said.  “Making sure that Americans who make their livelihoods in the agriculture industry have the ability to thrive will be one of my top priorities. I am committed to serving the customers of USDA, and I will be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.”

The last announced Trump cabinet appointment, concern that President Trump has made a low priority of rural and farm interests has been expressed.

In response, President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to identify and eliminate what he says are unnecessary regulations that “hurt farmers and rural communities.”

The American Wood Council (AWC) applauded the confirmation. AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement in response to the confirmation:

“AWC congratulates Secretary Perdue on his confirmation and encourages him to continue that agency’s historically robust support for research on wood products. Our industry has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the Department and we look forward to continuing that under Secretary Perdue’s tenure.

“As an example, advancing the construction of tall wood buildings will help reduce the costs and increase the economic benefits of building construction. Tall wood buildings would introduce carbon-neutral building materials to our urban areas, as well as job creation in rural areas. Supporting tall wood construction is a win-win for the Administration and the industry.”

Read more about Perdue here.

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