The membership of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee has been set. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) takes the helm as the new chairman for the 110th Congress, and 17 new representatives join the 46-member committee. National Corn Growers Association President Ken McCauley said the organization's corn growers are looking forward to a continued working relationship with the committee.



"We are in a farm bill year and NCGA continues to educate all members of Congress on the importance of the agriculture and developing good public policy that benefits everyone," McCauley said. "We certainly look forward to working with the chairman and will certainly be offering our position on farm and rural development policies."



Peterson last week told reporters he is adding a new subcommittee -- the sixth -- and changing their jurisdictions in light of the upcoming farm bill development. Peterson will add energy to a subcommittee that will also include credit and research. He's also moving rural development to a subcommittee that covers specialty crops and foreign agriculture programs. In addition, livestock and horticulture will now be separate subcommittees. The Department Operations Subcommittee and the General Farm Commodities Subcommittee will remain the same. Subcommittee assignments and nominations of chairmen have not been completed.



The House Agriculture Committee held hearings on farm policy in 2006 throughout the Corn Belt. NCGA expects Peterson to hold more hearings this year to gather additional feedback on farm programs. He has also announced the markup of the 2007 farm bill will begin with subcommittee sessions.



The committee, under new leadership, has 25 Democrats and 21 Republicans. In addition to Peterson, committee members include:



Democrats: Tim Holden (Pa.); Mike McIntyre (N.C.); Bob Etheridge (N.C.); Leonard Boswell (Iowa); Joe Baca (Calif.); Dennis Cardoza (Calif.); David Scott (Ga.); Jim Marshall (Ga.); Stephanie Herseth (S.D.); Henry Cuellar (Texas); Jim Costa (Calif.); John Salazar (Colo.); Brad Ellsworth (Ind.); Nancy Boyda (Kans.); Zack Space (Ohio); Tim Waltz (Minn.); Kirsten Gillibrad (N.Y.); Steve Kagen (Wisc.); Earl Pomeroy (N.D.); Lincoln Davis (Tenn.); John Barrow (Ga.); Nick Lampson (Texas); Joe Donnelly (Ind.); and Tim Mahoney (Fla.).



Republicans: Bob Goodlatte (Va.) - Ranking Member; Terry Everett (Ala.); Frank Lucas (Okla.); Jerry Moran (Kans.); Robin Hayes (NC); Timothy V. Johnson (Ill.); Sam Graves (Mo.); Jo Bonner (Ala.); Mike Rogers (Ala.); Steve King (Iowa); Marilyn Musgrave (Colo.); Randy Neugebauer (Texas); Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (La.); John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (NY); Virginia Foxx (NC); K. Michael Conaway (Texas); Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.); Jean Schmidt (Ohio); Adrian Smith (Neb.); Kevin McCarthy (Calif.); and Tim Walberg (Mich.).



SOURCE: NCGA.