Governor Perdue grew up on a farm in central Georgia and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia. He served two terms as Georgia governor, from 2003-2011, and owns agribusinesses worth about $2.8 million. Prior to serving as governor, he was a Georgia state senator. He collected more than $278,000 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2004, according to data compiled by the Environmental Working Group.
This decision will place a southerner in control of the Department of Agriculture for the first time in more than twenty years.
However, Tom Colicchio, co-founder of Food Policy Action, noted that Perdue’s record on food policy is weak on oversight and “in the pocket of Big Ag”. It is unclear what this could mean for organic and sustainable agriculture – areas in which Perdue has not historically been strong.