In a press conference this morning, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., announced who will chair each of the Agriculture Subcommittees for the 108th Congress, and touted the solid credentials and proven leadership that the Agriculture Committee was acquiring. Goodlatte, who represents a heavily agricultural district in southwest Virginia, was elected by the House Republicans to serve as Chairman of the full House Agriculture Committee earlier this month.

Congressman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., will continue to serve as Chairman of the Conservation, Credit, Rural Development and Research Agriculture Subcommittee, but with expanded jurisdiction. Lucas has been a member of the Agriculture Committee for more than eight years. He was heavily involved in the 2002 Farm Bill Conference Committee and authored a comprehensive conservation bill that expanded the farm bill's conservation programs by $16 billion. This committee has jurisdiction over soil, water, resource conservation, small watershed programs, agricultural credit, rural development, rural electrification, farm security and family farming matters, agricultural research, education and extension services, plant pesticides, quarantine, adulteration of seeds, insect pests and biotechnology.

Congressman Jerry Moran, R-Kan., will serve as Chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Agriculture Subcommittee. First elected to Congress in 1996, Congressman Moran chairs the Rural Task Force on Telecommunications, in addition to serving as an Assistant Majority Whip. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over programs and markets related to cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the Commodity Credit Corporation, crop insurance and commodity exchanges.

Congressman Bill Jenkins, R-Tenn., will serve as Chairman of the Specialty Crops and Foreign Agriculture Programs Subcommittee. Congressman Jenkins owns and operates a family farm in east Tennessee. Since first being elected to Congress in 1996, he has been a consistent advocate for economic development and protection of our natural resources. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over peanuts, sugar, tobacco, honey and bees, marketing orders relating to such commodities, foreign agricultural assistance and trade promotion programs.

Congressman Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., will be the new Chairman of the Department Operations Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee. Gutknecht, who was elected to Congress in 1994, has been awarded a number of honors as a "Friend of the Farmer" for his work on the House Agriculture Committee. This subcommittee covers agency oversight, review and analysis, special investigations, food stamps, nutrition and consumer programs, forestry in general, forest reserves other than those created from the public domain, energy and biobased energy production and dairy.

Congressman Robin Hayes, R-N.C., will be chairing the Livestock and Horticulture Subcommittee. Hayes, elected to Congress in 1998, is an Assistant Whip in the House Leadership and has been a consistent voice on behalf of family farmers. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over livestock, poultry, meat, seafood and seafood products, inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities, aquaculture, animal welfare, grazing, fruits and vegetables, marketing and promotion orders.

House Agriculture Committee press release