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Watch: Who Is New Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue?


Three months into his term, President Donald Trump now has in place his Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.

Here’s what you need to know:

Perdue served two terms as governor of Georgia

Prior to serving as governor of Georgia from 2003-2011 as a Republican, Perdue was elected to represent his Middle Georgia district in the state Senate as a Democrat. He switched to the GOP in 1998.

Then-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, right, greets U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston at a 2008 political event.
Credit Courtesy Bruce Tuten / Flickr
Then-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, right, greets U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston at a 2008 political event.

While in office, Perdue was dogged by ethics complaints

The complaints generally stem from Perdue’s involvement with family business ventures during his time as governor, as the New York Times reported.

Perdue grew up on a farm and has worked in agribusiness

Perdue earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine and has had a long career operating family agribusiness and transportation companies. His cousin, Georgia Sen. David Perdue, is a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and supported Trump on the campaign trail. This is not, however, the same family as runs Perdue Farms, the large poultry company.

While environmental groups question the choice, agricultural groups generally support Perdue

A coalition of environmental groups that includes Food & Water Watch and the Center for Biological Diversity in an email called Perdue’s committee hearing and vote “disappointing.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union are among the large number of farm groups that have voiced support for the selection of Perdue.

Watch the video above for more on Sonny Perdue.

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Jeremy Bernfeld
Jesse Hahn
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