The American Farm Bureau Federation will be presenting its Distinguished Service Award to former Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) during the 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention, Jan. 10-13.
AFBF established the Distinguished Service Award in 1928 to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving the national interest of American agriculture.
Conaway was first elected to represent the 11th Congressional District of Texas in 2004. He served as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture from 2015 to 2019 and as ranking member from 2019 to 2021. He also served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics from 2013-2015. He was a deputy Republican whip, a position he held since the 112th Congress. After 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Conaway decided not to run for re-election.
“The people who work in production agriculture, and the people who work in oil and gas, are some of the most decent, honest, hardworking, patriotic Americans you could ever imagine,” said Conaway. “Going to work on their behalf every day was a real joy.”
“Chairman Conaway is a true leader for U.S. agriculture,” said Russell Boening, president of the Texas Farm Bureau. “His success in adding seed cotton back into the farm bill helped cotton growers in Texas and across the nation continue operating during difficult circumstances.”
Conaway chaired the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee during the 113th Congress. In addition, as an important lieutenant to then-Chairman Frank Lucas, he played a major role in the passage of the 2014 farm bill, which benefited farmers and ranchers across the entire country.
Conaway was also a key force in the passage of the 2018 farm bill, leading a process whereby the concerns of farmers, ranchers and rural America were addressed. He fought to ensure that all commodities were adequately funded, providing a strong safety net for American agriculture at a time when net income had decreased by 52% since 2014.