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Sonny Perdue      

31st United States Secretary of Agriculture & Former Governor of Georgia

Sonny Perdue was born in Perry, Georgia. He was raised on a diversified row crop farm learning from his father the rewards of working the land. Perdue earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia, where he also played football as Quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs. While still in school, Perdue volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force, receiving an honorable discharge in 1974 with the rank of captain.

Following a brief tenure as a practicing veterinarian, Perdue started multiple businesses from the ground up, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation. His public service began in the 1980s when he served on the Houston County Planning and Zoning Board. He then successfully ran for the state senate, becoming majority leader in just four years, followed by his election as president pro tempore.

In January 2003, Perdue became the first Republican to serve as Georgia’s governor since 1872. Governor Perdue won reelection by an overwhelming margin in November 2006. As governor, Perdue focused on improving education, providing better access to health care, creating quality jobs for Georgians, and increasing resources for stronger, safer communities.

Uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia, he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, 2017.

Sonny Perdue has been married to Mary Ruff Perdue for 45 years and has four adult children and fourteen grandchildren. He is affectionately called “Big Buddy” by his grandchildren. Perdue and his wife have served as foster parents for eight children awaiting adoption. Perdue remains a licensed airplane and helicopter pilot and avid outdoor sportsman.

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