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Washington Update - FANR Newsletter

Lewis-Burke Associates – February 8, 2023


Congress is officially in session with the House and Senate releasing their respective rosters for the Agriculture Committees, though there are a few openings left to fill. In addition, the Pennsylvania Farm Show provided the new House Agriculture Committee Chair, Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) a venue to hold a listening session with other members of Congress on the Farm Bill.


House and Senate Agriculture Committee Assignments:

After weeks of deliberation, committee membership rosters for the 118th Congress have been released. The Senate Agriculture Committee will not see a change in leadership, with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) continuing as the Chair and Ranking Member respectively. 


The House Agriculture Committee saw numerous changes in leadership and membership. Former Ranking Member G.T. Thompson (R-PA) will serve as Committee Chair following the House’s shift to a Republican majority, and the former Chair David Scott (D-GA) will become Ranking Member Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) will return to the House Agriculture Committee, which he chaired from 2011 to 2015, during which he oversaw negotiations and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have also announced Subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members:

Senate Agriculture Subcommittees:

  • Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade

    • Chair: Raphael Warnock (D-GA)

    • Ranking Member: John Hoeven (R-ND)

  • Rural Development and Energy

    • Chair: Tina Smith (D-MN)

    • Ranking Member: Joni Ernst (R-IA)

  • Conservation, Climate, Forestry, and Natural Resources

    • Chair: Michael Bennet (D-CO)

    • Ranking Member: Roger Marshall (R-KS)

  • Food, Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research

    • Chair: Cory Booker (D-NJ)

    • Ranking Member: Mike Braun (R-IN)

  • Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Local Food System, and Food Systems, and Food Safety and Security

    • Chair: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

    • Ranking Member: Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)

House Agriculture Subcommittees:

  • General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit

    • Chair: Austin Scott (R-GA)

    • Ranking Member: Shontel Brown (D-OH)

  • Forestry

    • Chair: Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

    • Ranking Member: Andrea Salinas (D-OR)

  • Conservation, Research, and Biotechnology

    • Chair: Jim Baird (R-IN)

    • Ranking Member: Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)

  • Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture, and Horticulture

    • Chair: Brad Finstad (R-MN)

    • Ranking Member: Jahana Hayes (D-CT)

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry

    • Chair: Tracey Mann (R-KS)

    • Ranking Member: Jim Costa (D-CA)

  • Commodity Markets, Digital Assets, and Rural Development

    • Chair: Dusty Johnson (R-SD)

    • Ranking Member: Yadira Caraveo (D-CO)

G.T. Thompson Listening Session:

On January 13, House Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson hosted a listening session at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. A major takeaway from the listening session was the speed at which Thompson would like to move the Farm Bill through the House, stating that he wants to “keep his foot on the gas.” He indicated that the first step would be to observe what is and what is not working under the current legislation, and he specified the topics he intends to prioritize: labor and workforce, tax changes, and nutrition. Rep. Thompson was joined by Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Austin Scott (R-GA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Mary Miller (R-IL), Mark Alford (R-MO), and Derrick Van Orden (R-WI).


Rep. Austin Scott, who will be Vice Chair of the full Committee and Chair of the General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit Subcommittee, closed his remarks by stating “As we begin writing the next Farm Bill, it’s vital to hear from farmers and producers about what’s working and what needs to be fixed. I thank everyone who attended and contributed to those conversations in Pennsylvania this weekend, and I thank Chairman Thompson for his leadership and commitment to crafting a Farm Bill that meets the needs of everyone – from the farm to the dinner table." The Committee is implying that their central priority will be the needs of farmers and the producers. Chairman Thompson stated that his primary goal in the Farm Bill reauthorization to make farming profitable again. 


The next Farm Bill listening session will be held in Tulare, CA on February 14, 2023.


In the meantime, the Senate has picked-up the pace on its Farm Bill hearings with several taking place this month with focus on commodity programs, trade/horticulture, and nutrition.


For more information about the Pennsylvania listening session, please see:

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