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Returning Leaders, New Faces to Serve on Congressional Agriculture Committees

Jan 30, 2019

The 116th Congress was sworn into office this month with nine new senators and 89 new representatives.  Republicans maintained control of the Senate and Democrats took control of the House, resulting in some significant changes on both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees that are of interest to IDFA members.

House Agriculture Committee Adds Members

With the new Democratic majority in the House, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., will take over as chair of the House Agriculture Committee, replacing Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who will now serve as the ranking member. 

Chairman Peterson announced earlier this month that 26 Democrats will be on the committee, including 13 Democrats who weren't on the panel in the 115th Congress. They include freshmen lawmakers, such as Reps. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, and T.J. Cox, D-Calif.

Three new Republican members will also join the committee: Reps. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., Jim Baird, R-Ind., and Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn.  Meanwhile, Republican Reps. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Steve King, R-Iowa, will no longer serve on the committee.

Three Democratic lawmakers have also left the committee: Reps. Dwight Evans, D-Pa., Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del.

Senate Agriculture Committee Roster Largely Unchanged

Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., will continue to hold the gavel of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Roberts still has 11 Republicans on his committee but the Democratic roster shrunk by one seat and is down to nine.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats have added one new senator to the Agriculture Committee’s ranks: Senator Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill.  Steve Daines, R-Mont., left the committee and former-Senators Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., lost their re-election bids.

Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., will remain the top Democrat on the committee and continue serving as the ranking member. 

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

For more information, contact Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs, at

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