Sonny Purdue
January 19, 2017

Dairy Industry Groups React Favorably to Perdue USDA Nomination

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Dairy industry groups were saying all the right things with President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue’s training as a veterinarian also bodes well, giving him special insight and understanding of animal care and health issues.

“Former [Georgia] Gov. Perdue is well-qualified to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a result of his eight years of executive experience as Georgia’s governor, and his career as a state legislator and small businessman.  His educational training as a veterinarian also gives him unique insights into the important issues facing America’s livestock producers in the areas of animal health, food safety and the environment,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.

“Dairy producers, like most other farmers and ranchers across America, have experienced significant economic challenges for more than a year,” says Mulhern. “Starting right away in 2017, NMPF will seek to collaborate with Secretary Perdue on ways to strengthen the safety net for dairy farmers, relieve regulatory burdens and enhance opportunities to keep and grow markets abroad for our dairy exports.

“In particular, we will continue to advise the Agriculture Department on efforts to improve the dairy Margin Protection Program to best benefit America’s dairy producers. We will also continue our dialogue with USDA and others in the Trump Administration on the importance of enforcing previous trade agreements, as well as pursuing future well-negotiated trade agreements that bolster our ability to serve consumers in foreign markets.”

The International Dairy Foods Association released the following statement by Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO:  “IDFA and our dairy foods company members look forward to working closely with Sonny Perdue in his new role as Secretary of Agriculture. While leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary Perdue will oversee many areas that are extremely important to the dairy industry, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the school breakfast and lunch programs, and, most recently, the national disclosure standard for foods made with genetically modified ingredients.

“As a fellow veterinarian, I’m confident that Secretary Perdue will bring the necessary knowledge and insight to keep American agriculture, food production and nutrition programs strong and vibrant.”

Laurie Fischer, with the American Dairy Coalition, also congratulates Perdue:  “In addition to serving in the United States Senate and two terms as Georgia governor, Perdue brings a wealth of farming knowledge and experience to his new position…. The American Dairy Coalition is confident Perdue will lead the USDA while keeping the needs of our nation's farmers and dairy producers top of mind.”