GFB News Magazine

Perdue honored with AFBF Distinguished Service Award

Posted on February 16, 2022 12:00 AM

By Jennifer Whittaker

American Farm Bureau recognized former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for his lifetime of service to agriculture by presenting him the 2022 American Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service Award. Perdue accepted the award on Jan. 9 at the AFBF convention in Atlanta.

Perdue was recognized for the work he did on behalf of farmers across the country while leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture from January 2017 - January 2021.

“I love farms and I love farmers,” Perdue said in his acceptance speech. “This is an award I will cherish because it comes from the heart of American agriculture. I appreciate Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall for nominating me and everyone who supported me for this award.  American Farm Bureau was the grassroots team I depended on when I was visiting all 50 states as secretary of agriculture.”

While serving as agriculture secretary, Perdue oversaw the USDA’s implementation of the 2018 farm bill and its launch of the Market Facilitation Program that assisted farmers who lost income because of trade disputes. Perdue also led the USDA in helping consumers and farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic by developing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and collaborating with other federal agencies to secure migrant farm labor during the pandemic. The USDA also created the ReConnect broadband initiative during Perdue’s tenure.

“Sonny Perdue is a true leader for Georgia and U.S. agriculture,” Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall wrote when nominating Perdue on behalf of GFB. “His dedication and investment to agriculture will have a long-lasting impact on our nation and the world. Sonny is deserving of this honor.”

As a two-term governor of Georgia from January 2003 to January 2011, Perdue led the establishment of the state’s Regional Water Councils and worked closely with farmers on issues related to water, taxes and property rights.

Prior to being elected governor in November 2002, during Perdue’s 11 years in the Georgia Senate, he was recognized as a leading authority on a broad range of issues including agriculture, education, emerging technologies and economic development.


From right, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall presents Sonny Perdue the organization’s 2022 Distinguished Service Award as Georgia Farm Bureau President Tom McCall offers congratulations.

Photo by Jennifer Whittaker