On April 24, the U.S. Senate confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture by a vote of 87 to 11, and on April 25, 2017, he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue, 70, grew up on a dairy farm and holds a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. President Donald Trump nominated Perdue in January. The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Perdue on March 23, and favorably voted him out of the Committee on March 30.
In announcing the Senate confirmation of Perdue, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, praised him by stating that during his confirmation hearing, “Governor Perdue demonstrated a real understanding of the challenges facing the agriculture industry and a willingness to work together to find solutions.” Sen. Roberts also noted that, “The Agriculture Committee received many letters in support of his nomination, including support from 6 former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture representing both Republican and Democratic presidents and another from nearly 700 organizations across the agriculture and food value chain.”