US Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary

11 to confirm Perdue. In a statement, Grassley said he has urged President Trump to consider Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey for a senior USDA role.

He was to be sworn in April 25 by Supreme Court Justice and fellow Georgian Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court and address USDA employees at the Whitten Building headquarters shortly thereafter.

When Perdue was nominated on January 18 and when he was confirmed on April 24, a total of 96 days passed without a leader of the USDA.

" 'I know he will put the needs of farmers, ranchers and others in rural America first, ' Roberts said". And for much of that designated time, the Senate floor was empty. Vilsack joined the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) as president and CEO in February 2017.

Perdue may also find himself in the uncomfortable position of defending agriculture in an administration that has so far given the issue limited attention, despite Trump's strong support in rural areas. About 100,000 people work for the USDA, the Associated Press said. Perdue succeeds former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack who stepped down after leading the agency for eight years during the Obama administration. More are expected next month when the White House introduces a more detailed budget plan. Notables to vote against the nomination were Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT; Sen. The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Perdue on March 23, and favorable voted him out of the Committee on March 30. Kristin Gillibrand, D-NY.

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Farmer and grain industry associations applauded the confirmation. Here's what you need to know about the person now in charge of many the nation's farm and food policies.

The executive order, according to Ray Starling, special assistant to the President for agriculture, will require the task force, led by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, to produce a report for the President in 180 days on the impediments to farming in the United States.

While literally hundreds of farm, ranch and agricultural groups endorsed Perdue's nomination as it came before the Senate, there were dissident voices, mostly outside the industry. She underscored how critical it is for a Secretary of Agriculture to work with Congress after a bill is passed to implement it in a way that works for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities in North Dakota and across the country.

Plains Cotton Growers also applauded the confirmation. Vilsack served the entire eight years of the Obama administration (one of the longest-serving agriculture secretaries in recent decades). "I congratulate him on his confirmation, and I look forward to working with him on crafting and implementing our next farm bill".

"Secretary Perdue knows that dairy farmers depend on export markets around the world and closer to home, which is why it is important for USDA to insist on preserving market access to key customers in Mexico, and demand that Canada plays by the worldwide trade rules to which it has already agreed", says the National Milk Producers Federation.

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