Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, on January 4 was elected chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.

This is the second time Peterson, who has served Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District since 1991, has served as the committee’s chairman, having first served in that role from 2007 to 2011. Peterson, who had previously served since 2011 as the committee’s ranking member, issued the following statement upon his election:

“I am honored to receive the support of my colleagues to serve as chairman of the Agriculture Committee in the 116th Congress. I look forward to continuing the important work of the committee to address the many challenges facing our producers, our rural communities, and our working families across the country.

“There is no shortage of work to be done. There is a new farm bill to implement, a growing economic storm in farm country to address, and the ongoing harm of a trade war to alleviate, not to mention the range of unforeseen issues that will test the mettle of the people we’re here to serve.


“Our job will be to work together with Republicans to provide responsible oversight of the administration, and pragmatic solutions for all points in the farm and food supply chain. I look forward to the challenge and I’m excited to get to work.”

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, is the outgoing committee chairman.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, is the chairman of the Senate agriculture committee, but Roberts just announced that he will retire from the U.S. Senate when his current term ends. His successor in the Senate will be elected in 2020.

Peterson, Conaway, Roberts and Senate ag committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, were the instrumental leaders in drafting the current farm bill, which was signed into law by the president at a ceremony on December 20.