As the 117th Congress comes to a close, the National Corn Growers Association is recognizing the tenure of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway, R-Texas. The three leaders will not be returning to elected office next Congress, taking a combined 86 years of experience and institutional knowledge of the legislative process with them.
Roberts was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, representing Kansas’ “Big First” District for 16 years. He served as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1995-1997 where he oversaw passage of the 1996 Farm Bill. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He became Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman in 2015 and served as Ranking Member from 2011-2013. Roberts is the first member of Congress to have chaired both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and also the first member of Congress to write and pass a Farm Bill in both chambers.
Throughout his career, Roberts successfully advocated to ensure that farmers and ranchers had the risk management tools needed to advance American agriculture and fought barriers to trade and regulations that threaten producers’ competitiveness.
Peterson was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Seventh Congressional District of Minnesota in 1990. Since 2019, he has served as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, a role he previously held from 2007-2011, overseeing passage of the 2008 Farm Bill. Peterson served as House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member from 2011-2019 and 2005-2007.
Peterson has been an advocate for farmers and small business owners, a strong proponent of conservation programs and a leader in promoting the use and production of biofuels.
Conaway was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, representing Texas’ 11th Congressional District. Conaway served as House Agriculture Committee Chairman from 2015-2019, overseeing passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Since 2019, he has served as House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member.
Conaway has been a vocal advocate for production agriculture, while protecting American taxpayer dollars and fixing ineffective and flawed programs.
The three Chairmen, along with former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., recently met to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the House Agriculture Committee, reflecting on their time leading the Committee.