By Taite R. McDonald, Nathaniel T. Kron, and Isabel C. Lane, Holland & Knight.
As President Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue would also be in charge of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Office and renewable energy programs. During his time as governor, Perdue was no stranger to initiatives that emphasized energy efficiency.
Although conservative publications have put forth proposals to eliminate the USDA's rural development programs, given the commitments that Trump made during his presidential campaign to increase rural broadband access and rural infrastructure, the Rural Development Office is likely to continue to play an important role in the USDA's mission.
In addition, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) statutorily set funding levels for the Title IX programs through 2018. Regardless of the change in administration, this funding provides a degree of certainty for these programs through this fiscal year and next.