Rhonda Garrison: It took a very long time, but it finally happened late last week. Now President: Donald Trump named a Southerner to be the next Ag. Secretary. We are really excited about it.
South Carolina Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers: That we are. We are very pleased that Governor Sonny Perdue from Georgia was picked to be the next Ag. Secretary. .
RG: There has been 30 secretaries of Agriculture since 1889 when USDA was founded. There were some that were raised on a farm, but only 2 actually lived and worked in agriculture as adults.
HW: That’s right. That’s why with Governor Sonny Perdue being the farmer at heart that he is with veterinarian training, a lot of businesses in farming, and living on a farm. He should not need the training of your basic tenants that we believe in, in agriculture. We are very excited to have one of our own in a lot of ways: a good farmer, a good southerner, and ready for him to go to work.
RG: As we all know, Perdue was former Governor of the great state of Georgia. He was Governor from ’03-’11 which spans the great drought of 2007.
HW: Well it does. That’s when I had the chance to get to know Perdue and his family. It was towards the end of his time as Governor and I think he was looking forward to getting back to the farm and his grandchildren. With 6-7 years later, he has had a chance to “recharge those batteries” and apply his talents in Washington.
RG: We are really looking forward to his experience with exports as well.
HW: That’s correct. In South Carolina he actually has several grain elevators, and also working with Georgia ports. With a whole host of what USDA has responsibilities for, it is really assuring to have someone with the experience that Governor Purdue has and is bringing to that.
RG: Yes it does.