Nebraska Lawmakers show support for new Secretary of Agriculture

The new secretary of agriculture will be sworn in on Tuesday. This comes after the Senate confirmed Sonny Perdue with a 87 to 11 vote on Monday.

The former Georgia governor has broad support from agricultural interests, and enjoyed a friendly confirmation hearing before the senate agriculture committee.

He'll be in charge of around 100,000 employees and is scheduled to address the department following his swearing in.

Perdue will be in charge of several food and farm programs which play a key role in Nebraska, as well as, nutrition programs like food stamps and federally subsidized school meals.

President Donald Trump's proposed budget would slash spending on agriculture research and other rural development. But Perdue told senators he will work to balance those proposed cuts with the needs of small towns and farmers who rely on agriculture.

Perdue's biggest task will be his department's input on the five-year farm bill, which expires next year.

Nebraska lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are sharing their support for Perdue's confirmation.

"Agriculture is the number one driver of Nebraska’s economy, and the United States Department of Agriculture is critically important for our producers as they work hard to feed a hungry world," said U.S. Senator Deb Fischer in a statement. She continues saying "During the confirmation process, Governor Perdue proved he possesses the experience and expertise to lead in this pivotal role. He understands regional differences and is committed to ensuring that agriculture holds a prominent seat at the table during trade negotiations. I congratulate Governor Perdue on his confirmation today, and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Congressman Adrian Smith said in a statement that the confirmation of Secretary Perdue is great news for Nebraska agriculture. Rep. Smith goes on to say that during his Farm Bill listening sessions last week, Third District producers made it clear they wanted to see Secretary Perdue confirmed as soon as possible. "With his wide range of experience as a farmer, businessman, and governor, Secretary Perdue is well-positioned to lead the USDA in helping create more opportunity for U.S. producers," said Smith.

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