MEMPHIS - The National Cotton Council expressed its congratulations to Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) on being named by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to chair the Agriculture Committee in the 109th Congress, which convenes in January.
Senator Chambliss succeeds Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), who capably chaired the Committee for the last two years.
NCC Chairman Woody Anderson said, “Senator Chambliss is uniquely qualified to lead the Committee during a period that will include historical trade negotiations and preparations for new farm law. He has a depth of knowledge about production agriculture, conservation, nutrition and research programs through his work on the 1996 and 2002 farm bills.”
Anderson said that in 2002 during development of the farm bill, Senator Chambliss chaired a key House subcommittee with responsibility for general farm commodities, and he has represented a Congressional district and state which produces a wide variety of crops, livestock and poultry.
Senator Chambliss served as a member of the House Agriculture Committee throughout his eight-year term as the Representative from Georgia’s 8th Congressional district and has served on the Senate Agriculture Committee since his election to the Senate two years ago. As chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Chambliss will be responsible for conducting confirmation hearings for Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns, nominated to be Secretary of Agriculture. He also will become Committee chairman in time to begin the process of preparing new farm legislation to replace the highly successful 2003 bill, which expires with the 2007 crop.
Incoming NCC Chairman Woods Eastland of Greenwood, MS, said agriculture is fortunate to have someone with Senator Chambliss’ wealth of knowledge, experience and respect of the agricultural community to take charge of the Committee following the successful term of Senator Cochran. Senator Cochran will become chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
Bob McLendon, a Leary, GA, producer and a past NCC chairman, said agriculture is most fortunate to have Senator Chambliss accept the responsibility to lead agriculture through the challenges of: 1) providing guidance to U.S. negotiators working in the WTO agricultural negotiations, 2) guiding agriculture through the budget process and 3) laying the foundation for farm legislation to go into effect at the expiration of the current law.
“Senator Chambliss has been extraordinarily responsive to the concerns of production agriculture,” McLendon said. “We look forward to working with him and our colleagues in the commodity, specialty crop, livestock, conservation and nutrition communities as he helps us meet the challenge of providing the world’s safest, most abundant and most affordable supply of food and fiber.”