- United States House Committee on Agriculture
The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, or Agriculture Committee is a standing Congressional committee of the
United States House of Representatives. The House Committee on Agriculture has general jurisdiction over federal agriculturepolicy and oversight of some federal agencies, and it can recommend funding appropriations for various governmental agencies, programs, and activities, as defined by House rules. As of 2007, the committee is chaired by Representative Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.).
History of the Agriculture Committee
The Agriculture Committee was created on
May 3, 1820, after Lewis Williamsof North Carolinasponsored a resolution to create the committee and give agricultural issues equal weight with commercial and manufacturinginterests. The committee originally consisted of seven members, from the states of Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Thomas Forrestwas the first chairman. The United States Senatecounterpart to the House Agriculture Committee, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, was created on December 9, 1825. The Agriculture Committee remained a seven-member body until 1835, when two more members were added. It was not until 1871that the next two members were added. Since then it has gradually grown to its current size of 46 members.
Role of the Agriculture Committee
The Agriculture Committee is not generally considered to be a particularly powerful one. However, it is an important committee to be on for Representatives from many
ruralareas where agriculture is the main industry. The committee has jurisdictionover agriculture, forestry, nutrition, water conservation, and other agriculture-related fields.
As prescribed by House Rules, the Committee on Agriculture's jurisdiction includes the following:
# Adulteration of seeds, insect pests, and protection of birds and animals in forest reserves.
# Agriculture generally.
# Agricultural and industrial chemistry.
# Agricultural colleges and experiment stations.
# Agricultural economics and research.
# Agricultural education extension services
# Agricultural production, marketing and stabilization of prices of agricultural products, and commodities (excluding foreign distribution).
# Animal industry and diseases of animals.
# Commodity exchanges.
# Crop insurance and soil conservation.
# Dairy industry.
# Entomology and plant quarantine.
# Extension of farm credit and farm security.
# Inspection of livestock, poultry, meat products, and seafood and seafood products.
# Forestry in general and forest reserves other than those created from the public domain.
# Human nutrition and home economics.
# Plant industry, soils, and agricultural engineering.
# Rural electrification.
# Rural development
# Water conservation related to activities of the Department of Agriculture.
=Current members, 110th Congress=
* [http://agriculture.house.gov/index.html House Agriculture Committee Homepage]
* [http://agriculture.house.gov/index.html Agriculture Committee Homepage]
* [http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/pubs/109thRules.pdf Committee Rules] (PDF)
* [http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/history/chairmen.html Past Committee Chairs]
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