Prairie Star: Tester: New Ag Secretary Must Support Rural Communities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate’s only active farmer today joined Republicans and Democrats to confirm President Trump’s Agriculture Secretary nominee, Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Sen. Jon Tester endorsed Perdue on the Senate floor prior to the vote. Tester told his colleagues he will hold the former governor of Georgia accountable to rural Montana families and encourage him to push back against the Administration’s proposed budget cuts to rural infrastructure and the Farm Service Agency.

“We need the next Ag Secretary to ensure we’re supporting rural communities, not pulling the rug out from under them,” Tester said. “This means pushing back against the draconian budget cuts that have been put forward by the Administration.”

The Administration’s proposed budget slashes nearly $5 billion from critical agriculture and rural economic development initiatives, which is 21 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget.