Press Release | 115th Congress
Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
Full Committee Organizational Meeting for the 115th Congress
--As Prepared for Delivery--
“Good morning and thank you Chairman Conaway for holding today’s meeting. And welcome, everyone, to the Agriculture Committee.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us this Congress and reauthorizing the farm bill is at the top of the list. I hope we can all work together to get a new, good bill signed into law before the current bill expires in September 2018. I think I speak for all of us on this side of the aisle when I say that we want to be helpful and are ready to get to work on this effort.
“We have six new Democrats joining the Committee:
“Dwight Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 2nd district. He has had a long career in public service and has been an advocate of efforts to combat hunger and increase access to quality foods in underserved communities. He was the creator of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which has been replicated in several other states across the country.
“Al Lawson Jr. represents Florida’s 5th district. Agriculture is more than a $120 billion industry in Florida and one of the strongest pillars in Florida’s state economy. Lawson is committed to strengthen the agriculture industry in north Florida.
“Tom O’Halleran represents Arizona’s 1st district, one of the largest Congressional districts in the nation. The district is largely rural and home to more than 13,500 farms and nearly 23,000 farm operators. In addition, the district has seven national forests. Tom worked extensively on public land and water policies during his time in the Arizona State Legislature.
“Jimmy Panetta represents California’s 20th district, California’s Central Coast. This is a rural area at the epicenter of specialty crop and organic agriculture production. The region has been referred the Salad Bowl of the World.
“Darren Soto represents Florida’s 9th district, which includes Osceola County, the top cattle producing county in the state and Polk County, a major producer of Florida citrus. He is a strong advocate for a strong balance between good farming practices and environmental conservation.
“Lisa Blunt Rochester is Delaware’s lone Representative. Delaware’s agriculture industry produces more than $8 billion in economic activity each year, more than half of which is produced by their poultry industry. Lisa is committed to working to provide stability for Delaware’s farmers as well as promoting growth in the industry.
“I think this is a great group and I’m looking forward to getting to work. I thank the Chair and yield back.”