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Support heard in favor of Perdue

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been nominated by President Donald Trump as the next secretary of agriculture. Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was a top contender for the position, but she will still play a pivotal role in questioning Perdue ...

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been nominated by President Donald Trump as the next secretary of agriculture.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was a top contender for the position, but she will still play a pivotal role in questioning Perdue during his confirmation as she, along with North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, sit on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Hoeven released a statement in support of Perdue on Thursday.

"As a veterinarian, agricultural businessman and former governor of one the nation's leading agricultural states, he is exceptionally qualified for the job," he said in a press release. "Sonny grew up on a farm, so he knows the day-to-day challenges our farmers face. As a former governor, he understands the importance of agriculture for our nation's economy and our people and well-being. He also recognizes the need to work in a bipartisan way."

Hoeven said that he and Perdue were not only colleagues but friends when they worked together as governors for eight years.

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North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said that although he does not personally know Perdue, he has heard positive things about the nominee.

"I have some very good friends who are friends of Mr. Perdue, and they speak highly of him, and they are confident that he will do a good job for us," he said. "I trust what they have to say and believe so (too)."

Goehring said that he believes that Perdue is up to the challenge of learning the diversity in agriculture and to use the resources better.

Stark County Farm Bureau President Frank Klein said that he does not believe there will be a problem with Perdue being confirmed. He hopes that Perdue can help shape some of Trump's beliefs on international trading since it is important to agricultural producers, he said.

"It will be interesting to see how it plays out on how much (influence) Sonny Perdue has with Trump," he said. "He (Trump) has to ease up on these treaties."
Tracy Brunner, the president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association released a statement saying that he believes the nomination was a good decision.

"As a lifelong agri-businessman and veterinarian, as well as the two-term governor of a state where agriculture's the largest industry, Gov. Perdue has a unique and expert understanding of both the business and scientific sides of agriculture," Brunner said. "In a time of increasing regulations and a growing governmental footprint, we have no doubt that Gov. Perdue will step in and stand up for rural America so that we can continue to do what we do best - provide the safest and most abundant food supply in the world."
Larry Schnell, of the Stockmen's Livestock Exchange, has started sharing his knowledge of the cattle market with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, D.C., and said that he hopes Perdue will have an open mind regarding the cattle market's volatility

"I don't see anything that worries me at this time, but like anyone in that position, he's never done this before, so we don't really know what his thoughts will be until he starts telling us and what his actions will be until he starts doing them," he said.

Schnell said he has seen a lot of good and bad agriculture secretaries come and go but it's hard to tell this early in the game what the newly nominated secretary will do.

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"I think, most (people) in farming and ranching would say the best thing they could do is to stay out of our business as much as possible," he said.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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