WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony at the Supreme Court building.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11. After Secretary Perdue took the oath of office, he addressed employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) before getting to work on his first day.
“The only legacy that I seek is the only one that any grandparent or parent seeks — to be good stewards, and to hand off our nation, our home, our fields, our forests, and our farms to the next generation in better shape than we found it,” Perdue said. “Making sure that Americans who make their livelihoods in the agriculture industry have the ability to thrive will be one of my top priorities. I am committed to serving the customers of USDA, and I will be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.”
Perdue’s policies as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture will be guided by four principles which will inform his decisions. First, he will maximize the ability of the men and women of America’s agriculture and agribusiness sector to create jobs, to produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world, and to reap the earned reward of their labor.
Second, he will prioritize customer service for American taxpayers and consumers. Third, as Americans expect a safe and secure food supply, USDA will continue to serve in the role of ensuring the food we put on the table to feed our families meets the strict safety standards we’ve established.
And fourth, Perdue will always remember that America’s agricultural bounty comes directly from the land. And today, those land resources sustain more than 320 million Americans and countless millions more around the globe.
“As secretary, I will champion the concerns of farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, and will work tirelessly to solve the issues facing our farm families,” Perdue said. “I am proud to have been given this opportunity and look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work as we continue to move the USDA and our nation forward.”
Upon nominating Secretary Perdue in January, President Donald J. Trump said, “Sonny Perdue is going to accomplish great things as Secretary of Agriculture. From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face, and he is going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land.”