Senate Ag Committee Gets New Members

The Senate agriculture committee has two new members to start the year. Tina Smith, a Democrat from Minnesota, has joined the committee, along with Nebraska Republican Deb Fischer. Smith was recently appointed to take the seat of resigned Senator Al Franken. She takes the committee seat of Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, who is leaving the Senate Ag Committee to join the Energy and Public Works Committee. Smith will be the second Senator from Minnesota on the panel, joining Amy Klobuchar.

Smith, who formerly was the lieutenant governor for Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, had pushed for a seat on the ag committee and now will serve a key role in protecting the farm safety net and preserving crop insurance for farmers in Minnesota and beyond.

Fischer, of Nebraska, is a cattle rancher and former state legislator. She says she is looking forward to engaging on the farm bill, according to a statement on her website.

“I’m excited to announce that I am now a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. For over 40 years, I’ve worked with agriculture and rural development organizations across the state of Nebraska. Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska’s economy and it’s a big part of my own life. As a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature and as a U.S. Senator, common-sense agriculture policy has been a top priority for me, and I am honored that I now have an opportunity to be more involved at the federal level.”

“I’m pleased Senator Fischer will be joining the Agriculture Committee. We have worked together on a number of successful legislative efforts on behalf of rural America. Given her firsthand experience in the agriculture industry, Senator Fischer will be a welcome addition to the Committee, just in time to represent Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers in Farm Bill negotiations. I have no doubt she will do a fine job,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas).

Fischer started her time in the Senate in 2013 and takes the committee seat of departed Alabama Republican Luther Strange.

Source: Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Office of Senator Deb Fischer

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