With the change in House majority to Republicans, Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma will now chair the agriculture committee. As chair, Lucas says he will not address the 2012 Farm Bill immediately, saying the fiscal mood in Washington will be better in 2012. Lucas says there will be fewer dollars to work with but pledges he will work hard to protect the interests of farmers as the farm bill is developed in either 2011 or 2012.
He's been very critical of the growing power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a statement he states, "It is imperative we prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing standards which would cripple American agriculture and stifle economic growth in rural communities."
He's also a strong supporter of free trade, and has called for the implementation of three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia. Interestingly Rep. Collin Peterson, the now ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, never voted in favor of a free trade agreement in all his years in Congress.
Members and subcommittee chairs
Lucas named six members to serve as subcommittee chairmen of the House Agriculture Committee Dec. 21. He also released a complete list of the Republican roster for the 112th Congress and named Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., as vice chairman of the full committee.
"Our subcommittee chairmen have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the success of American agriculture and rural economies. They are ready to join me in addressing the challenges that farmers, ranchers, and small businesses face across rural America. The next year will be an exercise in educating our freshmen members on both sides of the aisle, providing oversight of the administration and building a strong working relationship as we prepare to reauthorize the farm bill in 2012," said Chairman-elect Frank Lucas.
Lucas designated the following Subcommittee Chairmen and their jurisdictions (listed alphabetically by subcommittee name):
Republican members of the agriculture committee are Frank D. Lucas (OK), Chairman-elect, Bob Goodlatte (VA), Vice Chairman-elect, Timothy V. Johnson (IL), Steve King (IA), Randy Neugebauer (TX), K. Michael Conaway (TX), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Jean Schmidt (OH), Glenn Thompson (PA), and Tom Rooney (FL). New Members include Rick Crawford (AR), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Renee Elmers (NC), Stephen Fincher (TN), Bob Gibbs (OH), Chris Gibson (NY), Vicky Hartzler (MO), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Randy Hultgren (IL), Reid Ribble (WI), Martha Roby (AL), Bobby Schilling (IL), Austin Scott (GA), Steve Southerland (FL), Marlin Stutzman (IN), and Scott Tipton (CO).
Policy is one of the most important issues facing farmers today, but often the most difficult to digest. Jacqui Fatka has a passion to decode the often difficult world of agricultural policy into terms understandable for today's ag players.
Fatka joined the Farm Progress team as E-Content Editor in August 2003 after graduating from Iowa State University. Prior to full-time employment with Farm Progress, she interned at Wallaces Farmer magazine, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley's press office and the Iowa Pork Producers Association and freelanced for National Hog Farmer. She also worked as a public relations consultant with Iowa Industries for the Future, an effort to bring together major players in the biorenewables industry.
Currently Fatka is a staff editor at a sister publication, Feedstuffs. For Farm Futures she regularly tells the story of ongoing agricultural policy changes. Her byline can also be found on management profiles.
Fatka grew up on a grain and livestock farm near Atlantic, Iowa. She currently lives in central Ohio with her husband Eric, and their three children - Josiah, Spencer and Avonell.
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