Local farmers excited for Sonny Purdue’s confirmation

Published 6:44 pm Friday, January 20, 2017

The transition team for President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that former Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue is Trump’s pick for Agriculture Secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Purdue will head the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bainbridge resident and Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long was one of the many to voice his approval of the nomination.

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“I want to congratulate former Governor Sonny Perdue on his nomination for Agriculture Secretary,” Long said. “I know he will work hard to represent all farmers and ranchers, as well as rural communities, across our nation.  He has vast knowledge from serving as governor, owning and operating an agribusiness, and being a veterinarian.  I am confident he will bring great things to USDA.”

U.S. representative Sanford Bishop also released a statement supporting the nomination of Purdue.

“I am pleased by the President-elect’s nomination of Sonny Perdue to lead USDA,” Bishop said. “I have a long working relationship with Governor Perdue since our time as members of the Georgia Senate, and I am confident in his ability to lead the Department. Governor Perdue, a trained veterinarian, is uniquely familiar with the importance of supporting farmers, ranchers, producers, and consumers, as Georgia boasts over 42,000 farms and an agricultural industry contributing over $71 billion annually to the Georgia and national economies.”

Purdue served as the Governor of Georgia from January 2003 through January 2011. Prior to serving as the Governor, Purdue worked as a veterinarian before working in agriculture.

Tommy Dollar said that he believes that Purdue’s experience working in agriculture will enable him to effectively lead the USDA.

“Sonny is a great Georgia representative,” Dollar said. “He understands what the small farmer needs from being governor and working in the farm supply business…I am hoping that he will exceed our expectations and I am confident he will.”

Glenn Heard said that, “it is great. He will be someone that understands southern agriculture.”  Heard added that he hopes Purdue will be able to help President Trump understand how important international trade is to the success of southern farmers.

“Trade is vital to the southern crop,” Heard said. “Trump’s comments so far have been pretty scary. Maybe, Sonny and others can help us with that. We need to keep and expand our trade with other countries, particularly, for the southern crops likes cotton and peanuts.”

If confirmed, Purdue will become the 31st Secretary of Agriculture.

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