U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenowwas next in line to receive the Senate Agriculture Committee chairmanship, and her colleagues gave her the nod today to take over the crucial position likely to be part of the writing of the next farm bill.
In a statement following the announcement, Stabenow said, "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as we begin writing a new farm bill that once again recognizes the importance of
During the last farm bill she authored the Specialty Crops title, the first ever fruit and vegetable title included. Dave Smith, executive director of the Michigan Vegetable Council said Stabenow "filled a leading role in the writing and passage of the 2008 Farm Bill" as she "recognized the importance of these crops to our country's agriculture."
Julia Baehre Rothwell, chair of the Michigan Apple Association, said "Stabenow has been a champion for
Her push for additional funding beyond traditional crops could grow in the next debate, especially as she will be the head.
Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, said Stabenow has a "proven track record of standing up for agriculture in
Many others spoke of Stabenow's commitment to conservation, food safety, energy and research.
Jeffrey D. Armstrong, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University, said, "She is a champion for leveraging investments in research and outreach – much of which will be done at MSU and other land grant institutions – to expand the ag economic impact and improve the quality of life for all Americans."
This committee is top-heavy with former chairmen (Sens. Tom Harkin, Patrick Leahy,
Dick Lugar and Thad Cochran), one former House Agriculture Committee chairman (Pat Roberts), and one former USDA secretary (Mike Johanns). Stabenow will lead the way, but she will have plenty of others around her to guide her in the years ahead.