Donald Trump has chosen former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue to be his secretary of agriculture, completing a protracted search with implications for how the president-elect plans to deliver on his promises to the army of rural voters widely credited with helping him win the election.
A transition official confirmed the pick — the final traditional Cabinet department chief to be selected — which could be formally announced as early as [January 19].
Perdue, a former Democrat who switched to the Republican Party before governing Georgia for two terms from 2003 to 2011, has a strong agricultural background, having grown up on a farm and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
Although Perdue’s Georgia is not among the nation’s top 10 agricultural states, it is home to 42,000 farms, with a strong focus in the cattle industry.
Trump has said that environmental regulations are “undermining our incredible farmers,” and some observers expect cuts to environmental and conservation programs at the Agriculture Department on his watch, as a Republican-controlled Congress moves to pass a new farm bill.
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