Sonny Perdue keeps familiar faces on staff at USDA

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue eats lunch with students at the Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Va., on May 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has wasted no time in adapting to his new-ish role as agriculture secretary under President Donald Trump.

In just a few short weeks, Perdue has moved to change school lunch policies,  issued a “religious liberty” order and tried to reassure America’s farmers about U.S. trade policy.

But Perdue has kept a pair of familiar faces around to help.

 



 

Heidi Green, Perdue’s former business partner and a long-time ally is serving as his chief of staff in Washington, Agri-Pulse, an online industry news journal, reports.

Green is no stranger to Washington, having served as an aide to a California congressman and for the late Georgia U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell. Green served as Perdue’s economic development commissioner and later served alongside her long-time boss as a member of Perdue Partners.

Perdue Partners was founded by Sonny and (now U.S. Sen.) David Perdue, Green and Trey Childress, another former gubernatorial aide. The company aimed to take advantage of the former governor’s business connections to develop national and international trade.

While some of the partnership’s ventures were successful, others were not.

The other Georgia native named to Perdue’s inner circle at USDA is Chris Young, whom Perdue named as deputy chief of staff. Young served Perdue’s gubernatorial administration as director of International Affairs, where he planned overseas trips and receptions at home for foreign leaders.


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