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Dairy Facts 2016

New Congress Sworn In; Big Changes on Agriculture Committees

Jan 07, 2015
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)

The 114th Congress was sworn into office yesterday with 12 new senators and nearly 60 new representatives, ushering in Republican control of the Senate and some significant changes on both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees.

Roberts (KS) Takes Helm of Senate Agriculture Committee

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) will take over as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, following the decision by Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), the Senate Agriculture Committee’s top Republican in the 113th Congress, to assert his seniority and take over the gavel on the Senate Appropriations Committee,. 

Roberts will be joined on the Agriculture Committee by four new Republicans: Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa, David Perdue of Georgia, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will remain the top Democrat on the committee, becoming the ranking member.  No new Democrats will be joining the committee.

The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to play a key role in the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.

House Agriculture Committee Adds Members

Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) will take over as chair of the House Agriculture Committee, replacing Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK) who had reached his term limit.  Eight new Republican members will join the committee:  Representatives Jackie Walorski of Indiana, Ralph Abraham of Louisiana, Rick Allen of Georgia, Mike Bost of Illinois, Tom Emmer of Minnesota, John Moolenaar of Michigan, Dan Newhouse of Washington and David Rouzer of North Carolina.

Another significant change to the committee includes the announcement by Conaway that the subcommittees of the House Agriculture Committee will be reorganized. Dairy issues will fall under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, which will be chaired by Rouzer of North Carolina.

Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) will remain the committee’s ranking member. Other Democratic members have yet to be announced, but they are expected to be named soon. 

For more information, contact Ashley Burch, IDFA director of political programs, at

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