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Secretary of Agriculture

Senate confirms 31st Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue

Sonny Perdue today is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, having won confirmation by the U.S. Senate in an 87-to-11 vote on Monday. The former governor of Georgia succeeds Tom Vilsack, who led the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the past eight years and who endorsed Perdue as his successor once the former Georgia governor was… Continue Reading

Senate fiddles as rural America burns waiting for ag secretary

Sonny Perdue will be confirmed as the nation’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture. It’s just a matter of whether it will occur before or after the U.S. Senate goes on vacation. Ahead of their recess, the Senate is obsessed with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s fate and time seems to be slipping away for also getting… Continue Reading

Perdue’s nomination for ag secretary advances to full Senate

The Senate agriculture committee approved former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve as the 31st secretary of agriculture Thursday, sending President Trump’s nominee to the Senate floor for confirmation. Perdue cleared the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on a voice vote with only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, voicing opposition to the former governor’s appointment… Continue Reading

Near confirmation, Perdue says no to Brazilian beef embargo

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks it would be an over-reaction for USDA to embargo Brazilian beef because of that country’s federal investigation of meat inspectors being bribed to overlook standards for exported meat. Perdue responded to questioning by Sen. John Thune, R-SD, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, which lasted… Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue set to face Senate ag committee Thursday

Secretary of Agriculture-designate Sonny Perdue will finally get his hearing tomorrow before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. President Trump nominated the former Georgia governor to serve as America’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture nine weeks ago. It is not clear why there’s been such a delay in getting the Committee hearing scheduled. The Senate… Continue Reading

USDA saying less during transition, but scientists not gagged

Reports of a black out on public information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service are vastly overblown. ARS Chief of Staff Sharon Drumm did send out a three-line email Tuesday to the agency’s 2,000 scientists to let them know the agency would not be releasing any “public facing documents” until further notice…. Continue Reading

Top food safety job and others remain to be filled at USDA

With the somewhat tardy appointment of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture combined with Senate Democrats taking their time with the confirmation process, there’s going to be a backup of some other important appointments at USDA and across the federal government. And the backup is occurring even though one man came close to… Continue Reading

When food safety crisis hit, Perdue had to prepare for next one

This century’s most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness came out of the state of Georgia while secretary of agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue was governor, and there was not much he could do about it. After King Nut peanut butter made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was implicated in the deadly nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, investigators from… Continue Reading

Secretary of Agriculture choice not as difficult as farm policy

NEWS ANALYSIS

When the bitter cold began spreading over rural America last month, the parlor guessing game around many a wood stove was guessing who President-elect Donald J. Trump would name as secretary of agriculture. But the time for that game has passed. The past three presidents all named their ag bosses by the end of the… Continue Reading

Food safety expertise could trump ho-hum ag appointment

One of the nation’s past top food safety officials might be named Secretary of Agriculture by President-elect Donald J. Trump. Cuban-born Texan Professor Elsa Murano, who served as U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety in the administration of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004, is a late edition to a list… Continue Reading