WASHINGTON (CN) – On the eve of his inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump announced he’s asked former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the Department of Agriculture.
Perdue served for nine years as governor of Georgia and his cousin, David Perdue, is one of the state’s representatives in the Senate. Trained as a veterinarian, Perdue also served in the Air Force before starting a business focused on “agribusiness and transportation,” according to a press release from Trump’s transition team.
The secretary of agriculture was the last cabinet position Trump had to appoint, aside from a cabinet-level economic advisory position. In the statement announcing the position, Trump cited Perdue’s experience growing up on a farm and working as a veterinarian as keeping him “deeply in touch” with the needs of farmers.
“Sonny Perdue is going to accomplish great things as secretary of agriculture,” Trump said in a statement. “From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face and he is going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land.”
Perdue will take over the sprawling agency, which employs more than 100,000 people, from Tom Vilsack, who abruptly stepped down from the position last week.