U.S. Agriculture Secretary

Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

Editor’s note: Senator Jon Tester was asked during the press conference if he had met with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Tester had said he meeting was cancelled by the White House. A Tester spokeswoman called YPR Saturday to clarify that no meeting was actually scheduled and the schedulers were working on setting a date. “Jon misspoke. Our office and the White House were working on scheduling a meeting for the week of August 20, but the White House pushed that back.”

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Montana today and tomorrow for an agriculture summit being put on in Great Falls by Republican Senator Steve Daines.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.”