The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to agriculture, farming, forestry and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade, assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the U.S. and the world.
Senate confirmation: Required
Former governor of Georgia
Former state senator of Georgia
Served in the U.S. Air Force
Earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia
Potential confirmation controversies:
While he was governor, he was criticized for not doing enough to fight a serious drought in the state, instead asking citizens to pray for rain.
Since leaving the governor's office, Perdue has run several trucking, agriculture and logistics firms that might raise questions of possible conflicts of interest.
Impending department issues:
Rising obesity in adults and children
Growing public support for GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling
Immigration laws and the shortage of migrant workers
Trade agreements that could create market opportunities for American farmers
Food safety and the steady rise in food-related illnesses