Senate confirms former Georgia Governor as Agriculture Secretary

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Washington, D.C. (AP) The Senate has confirmed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary.

The vote Monday was 87-11.

The owner of several agricultural businesses and the son of a farmer, Perdue will be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades.

Perdue has assured nervous farm-state senators that he will advocate for rural America, even as President Donald Trump's administration has proposed deep cuts to some farm programs. His promise to reach across the aisle won him several votes from Democrats.

As agriculture secretary, he'll be in charge of around 100,000 employees and the nation's food and farm programs, including agricultural subsidies, conservation efforts, rural development programs, food safety and nutrition programs such as food stamps and federally-subsidized school meals.