By Anna Simet, Biomass Magazine.
In an 87-11 vote, on April 24, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sonny Perdue as the 31stU.S. secretary of agriculture.
Perdue brings to the USDA a farming background and lengthy career of public service, ranging from Captain in the U.S. Airforce, to 11 years as a Georgia state Senator, to a two-term governor. As governor of Georgia, according to his USDA biography, Perdue was credited with transforming a budget deficit into a surplus, dramatically increasing student performance in public schools, and fostering an economic environment that allowed employers to flourish and manufacturers and agricultural producers to achieve record levels of exports.
Perdue followed these accomplishments with a successful career in agribusiness, where he focused on commodities and transportation in enterprises that have spanned the southeastern U.S, according to the USDA.
After taking his oath of office on April 25, Perdue addressed USDA employees with a speech highlighting his planned policies as USDA secretary, and accompanying principles that will guide them, which include maximizing the ability of the agriculture and agribusiness sectors to create jobs; prioritizing customer service for American taxpayers and consumers by conducting business efficiently and effectively; continuing to serve in the critical role of ensuring the food meets strict safety standards; and practicing sound land stewardship.