There are basically three types of politicians in Washington D.C., and I’m not talking about Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I mean those who are supportive of agriculture, those who are adversarial, and those who are indifferent.

However, I’m still trying to figure out which of those three groups Rep. Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina, belongs, but I know for sure she doesn’t fit in the category of indifferent.

A relative newcomer to national politics, Mace first took office in January 2021 and is in the early stages of her second term. Despite her near-rookie status, people certainly are figuring out who she is.

In one of her more high-profile appearances that got people’s attention, she delivered a roast of politicians at a recent Washington Press Club event. Not only did Mace make jest of the present and previous president, but she essentially eviscerated some of her party’s most shameless and embarrassing characters, i.e. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and George Santos. Even though some of her language was saltier than I prefer, I did think she was funny.

Mace’s district interests

The district Mace represents includes much of the state’s coastal areas, so she definitely has constituents who are environmentalists. But some major agrifood companies have a significant presence in South Carolina. House of Raeford, Amick Farms, Jamaica Broilers, Perdue Farms, Prestage Farms and Ise America come to mind.

So considering that, she has to appease both sides and find compromise, as she should.

Ag-related legislation from Nancy Mace

There was a time when there were two names that you could consistently find on agricultural legislation that is disruptive and often adversarial to animal agriculture: Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York.

Slaughter passed away in 2018, but DeLauro persisted to disrupt without her main ally.

And about a year ago, an amendment to the America COMPETES Act was proposed by DeLauro. That amendment would essentially outlaw commercial mink farming in the United States. DeLauro found a new ally and that ally was Mace. That was the first time I heard of Mace.

Then, Mace’s name resurfaced as one of the members of Congress behind amendments to Section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act, which largely took aim and cockfighting.

I blogged about both provisions, and while neither directly affect poultry production, both left me wondering if these laws were setting the stage for more challenges for the agrifood industry.

Most recently, Mace spoke about a bill she co-introduced with Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nevada, the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, which aims to reform the USDA commodity checkoff programs.

I’ve heard producers complain about checkoff programs and that their dollars aren’t effectively used, but I’ve also heard from those who think they are worthwhile.

Maybe I’m being too cautious when it comes to Rep. Mace, but all elected officials need to be watched, especially when they put themselves out there. I’ve never met her, but I’d welcome the chance to do so and hear her perspectives.

Despite any concerns I may have, it is apparent that she cares about animals, farmers and agriculture in general, and you can’t fault her for that.