Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was sworn in today as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court building.

Heitkamp pushed Perdue at his hearing about the need for USDA to provide timely wetland determinations for North Dakota farmers, and to guarantee that conservation compliance requirements don't hurt producers-as Heitkamp has long pushed for.

Congratulations on your confirmation to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Thune touted Perdue's experience as a farmer, agribusinessman and public servant.

Current farm policy expires next year.

Former Georgia Governor Perdue is the third agriculture secretary in the history of USDA to live and work on a farm as an adult.

Perdue's late nomination back in January-in addition to the 3-month confirmation wait-has prompted some to say that all matters concerning rural farming and food safety in the US are not a priority for President Trump.

Trump signed the executive order as he met with 15 farmers from across the United States, including American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, Iowa Agriculture chief Bill Northey and Oklahoma lawmaker Lisa Johnson Billy. "I know he will put the needs of farmers, ranchers and others in rural America first", Roberts said. He won election as Georgia's governor in 2003 and was reelected to a second term in 2006 with 58% of the vote.

Perdue's cousin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., voted "present" but presided over the vote and announced the final tally. To calm them down, he assured them he will advocate for rural America and he promised to reach out to Democrats.

Rural voters contributed mightily to Republican victories last fall, but for three months the department charged with overseeing farm programs and rural development, which has about 90,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $150 billion, has been waiting for a new leader.

Still, Perdue, 70, is getting a late start on the job. Perdue eventually said he would step down from several companies bearing his name to avoid conflicts of interest.

A statement from the National Turkey Federation (NTF) said the following: "Perdue understands that agriculture is the foundation of our nation and that, given a strong economic environment; America has an unmatched capacity to help feed a hungry world".

"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 stand as a willing partner to work with Secretary Perdue and President Trump to address this urgent issue", Baldwin said.

A Pence aide cited the issues on deck in Washington this week, including health care, the continuing resolution to fund the government and tax reform, as the reason for the vice president's early return, the pool report said.