Some things about the 2020 national election are known now, others are not. But, with three of the top four agriculture leadership posts changing in Congress, we know there are big shoes to fill for farmers. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and minority leader on the House Agriculture Committee Mike Conaway are both retiring. House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson lost his reelection bid Tuesday.
During an Agri-Pulse Facebook live event Wednesday, National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the loss of Peterson will be felt in many ways.
“But I think also, much of the work that he has done to build in not only support from his members down the dais if you will, making sure that all the members of the Ag Committee are up to speed on the issues at times whether they want to or not. That education and that kind of method of leadership where you are involving even your junior members is going to serve the committee and I think ultimately agriculture for a long time here.”
Randy Russell of the Russell Group says the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have lost decades of experience.
“If you look at Collin Peterson, he has been in Congress for 30 years and as two-time Chairman of the House Ag Committee. Pat Roberts who is retiring has been in Congress, either the House or Senate, for 40 years, and been chair of both committees. Mike Conaway retiring has been in Congress 15 years. If you take those three members, that’s 85 years’ worth of experience, wisdom, knowledge, leadership, that is no longer there. Now, obviously others will step up and I’m sure do a very good job, but it’s hard to fill those shoes, that void, of three people that have been such strong advocates for production agriculture and the food industry. So, I think it’s going to be a bit of an adjustment.”
Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will have several new members beyond leadership come January.
Source: NAFB News Service