Trump to Nominate Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture

Thursday, January 19th, 2017   /  Tags: agriculture, D.C.

The President-elect will nominate former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture.

The official announcement could come as soon as Thursday morning, though a transition official has reportedly confirmed the pick.

Below is a short bio that includes some of his connections to food and ag. Perdue was one of the original individuals to interview with Trump for the position, back on November 30 at Trump Tower. The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to announce the date and time for his confirmation hearing soon.  Please feel free to contact the MTA team with any questions you may have about this.

Sonny Perdue

Sonny Perdue is a native Georgian, born and raised in Perry, near where he currently resides.  He grew up on a diversified row-crop farm, where his family grew peanuts, cotton, corn and wheat, among other crops.  He is the son of a farmer and a teacher, and is a first cousin to Georgia’s junior Senator, David Perdue.

Perdue attended the University of Georgia, where he received his bachelor’s degree, and doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM). For several years after college, he served in the Air Force and as a practicing vet.  He pursued a career in business by, in his words, “studying the grain market, the hedging process, traveling to the Midwest to “look at grain elevators and the logistics of how the grain markets worked.”

In 1977, he and his brother-in-law started a grain elevator operation. Perdue credits the sales and marketing he did to establish and expand his business with helping him to develop the relationships that eventually helped him win office.  He won a seat in the Georgia Senate in 1990 as a Democrat, eventually becoming the Democratic Leader, until switching to the Republican Party in 1998.

He was re-elected as a Republican in 2000. He was elected Governor in 2002, becoming the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, and was re-elected in 2006.  Since leaving office in 2011, Perdue has been involved in various business ventures, including Perdue Partners, which facilitates the exports of U.S. goods and services, presumably including those from agriculture.