WASHINGTON — Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.) has been approved by the Democratic Caucus to serve as the first African American chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
In addition to the farm bill, the committee is empowered with legislative oversight related to the U.S. agriculture industry, forestry, nutrition, and rural development.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee,” Scott said in a statement. “I will use this critical opportunity to represent the values of our entire caucus and advance our priorities for trade, disaster aid, climate change, sustainable agriculture, SNAP, crop insurance, small family farms, specialty crops, and rural broadband.”
Scott has served as a member of Congress and the House Agriculture Committee since 2003 in various leadership roles, serving as chair of the subcommittees on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit as well as Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.
According to Michigan Farm Bureau National Legislative Council John Kran, Scott played a key role in ushering through the three last Farm Bills, serving as a conferee, and securing critical disaster aid for farmers.
“Michigan Farm Bureau congratulates Rep. Scott on being selected by his peers to serve as the next House Agriculture Committee Chairman,” Kran said. “The Congressman has a long history of working with the agriculture community and we look forward to working with him on issues important to our sector.”
Rep. GT Thompson (R-Pennsylvania) was also selected as ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee. Kran noted his state has a lot in common to Michigan — from a specialty crop perspective.
“Both Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Thompson understand the unique challenges facing agriculture and are well positioned to lead us on ag policy, including the next Farm Bill,” Kran said.
In a statement from the American Farm Bureau Federation, President Zippy Duvall said he looks forward to working with Reps. Scott and Thompson during the 117th Congress to address the pressing needs of rural America.
“We at the American Farm Bureau Federation congratulate Representative Scott on his selection to be the next chair of the House Agriculture Committee,” Duvall stated. “For almost two decades Congressman Scott has worked on behalf of farmers. And Congressman Thompson’s rural American roots and his bipartisan spirit have been a driving force in addressing the needs of America’s farmers.
“In working with them, we must strengthen the farm bill and find a fair solution to the farm labor shortage. We look forward to creating partnerships that build on the strides we’ve made in climate-smart practices. And, it’s essential we finally bridge the digital divide that has kept rural America from accessing the full potential of the nation’s broadband.”
As ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen. Debbie Stabenow issued the following statement regarding the selection of Scott as chairman and Thompson as ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.
“I want to congratulate Congressmen Scott and Thompson on becoming the next leaders of the House Agriculture Committee,” she said. “Both have been champions for rural America, and I know they will continue that great work as Chairman and Ranking Member. I look forward to partnering with them to combat the COVID-19 crisis, address inequities in our food system, and tackle the climate crisis.”