Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture

Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Agriculture

George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III was born in December 1946 in Perry, Georgia. He earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. He worked as a veterinarian for a period of time before becoming the owner of a small business. He is not related to the family that owns and operates Perdue Farms. He served four years in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of captain.

Perdue served on the Houston County Planning and Zoning Commission before becoming a member of the Georgia Senate, serving there twelve years. He spent eight years as Governor of the State of Georgia. He was constitutionally ineligible to seek a third consecutive term as governor, so he left public service and began Perdue Partners, facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.

Prior to his inauguration, President-elect Trump announced that he would nominate Perdue to be the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in in April 2017.

Perdue is married to Mary Ruff and they have four children and fourteen grandchildren. They have also been foster parents for many children.

In the News…

While many reports are made about coastal communities during the hurricanes the American Gulf Coast has experienced, few realize the extent of damage done to farms further inland. Hurricane Sally’s combination of pouring rain, strong wind, and a forward motion of only two or three miles per hour, uprooted trees and damaged crops for many farmers. In the wake of the storm, Agriculture Secretary Sony Perdue visited farms in the region to understand for himself the scope of the damage visited upon agricultural operations, particularly in areas of Alabama where Sally hit the hardest.

Many annual crops nearing harvest time were damaged, but among the greatest devastation were the pecan groves, where the entire 2020 crop was destroyed overnight in the storm as trees were uprooted.

Secretary Perdue said, “The folks here, the resilience they have, there is no bitterness…this is what our agricultural community across this country is like. … You saw the attitude they had, they’re gonna stay here, they’re going to replant and rebuild.” He called the pecan trees a “generational crop” due to the extended period of time between planting and when they reach a profitable level of productivity.

One pecan farmer said, “We were looking at one of the best crops we’d ever had. We just built a shelling plant so we could package and have candies made.”

Secretary Perdue added, “They keep getting knocked down, but golly, they keep getting back up. That is the American spirit.”

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Secretary Perdue today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Sonny Perdue, Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20250


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