Agriculture can rest assured that former Georgia Governor and now Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue will be friendly to farmers and ranchers. With strong ties and being very much involved in agriculture, Perdue saw somewhat of a transformation in the sector while serving as governor of Georgia. A Wall Street Journal reporter found that since first being elected as Governor of Georgia in 2003, the state saw an increase in agricultural sales under Perdue’s watch. In 2002, USDA Data shows 49,000 farms made $4.9 billion in sales. By 2012, the number of farms decreased to 42,000, but sales jumped to $9.3 billion. That’s a 17 percent drop in farm operations, compared to a nationwide downturn of just one percent, but nearly twice the sales. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Cattle and hog farms evaporated, and tobacco acreage was halved during that time. Meanwhile, the broiler flock swelled and corn, soybeans and peanut production doubled in the state. During his time as governor, he focused on agriculture issues including water management and making tax code changes that were beneficial to farmers.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.