Legislative Committees Take Shape

Written by Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, OSU Extension Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The 133rd Ohio General Assembly and 116th United States Congress have released their committee assignments for the upcoming legislative terms.  Chamber leaders like the House Speaker or party leaders generally select committee chairs and members, but the members themselves often have an opportunity to preference their assignments.  Below are the lists of representatives and senators on each of the agriculture-related committees, with brief biographies of committee leaders included.  Ohio readers may note that the agriculture committees for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate only have one member each from Ohio: Representative Marcia Fudge and Senator Sherrod Brown.

Here are the names to know for agriculture:

Ohio House of Representatives Agriculture and Rural Development Committee

  • Chairman J. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield). Representative Koehler is a third term member of the Ohio House, and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from Wright State University.  He worked for a number of years as a software engineer for government contractors, as well as working for his family business, K.K. Tool Company.
  • Vice-Chair J. Todd Smith (R-Germantown). Representative Smith is entering his first full term as a member of the Ohio House, and is a pastor in his home community.
  • Ranking Member Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland). Representative Brent is a first term member of the Ohio House, and has experience in non-profit and community engagement work.
  • Jack Cera (D-Bellaire)
  • Randi Clites (D-Ravenna)
  • Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo)
  • Don Jones (R-Harrison County)
  • Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville)
  • Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville)
  • Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview)
  • Don Manning (R-New Middletown)
  • John Patterson (D-Jefferson)
  • Jena Powell (R-Arcanum)
  • Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster)
  • Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati)
  • Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Minerva)
  • Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson)

Ohio Senate Agriculture Committee

  • Chairman Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction). Senator Hoagland is a first term member of the Ohio Senate.  He owns a small business, and has nearly 30 years of experience as a Navy SEAL.
  • Vice-Chair Brian Hill (R-Zanesville). Senator Hill is entering his first full term in the Ohio Senate.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from Ohio State.  Senator Hill raises beef cattle and grows crops on his family farm, and previously served as a Muskingum County Commissioner.  Before entering the Ohio Senate, Senator Hill served in the Ohio House, where he chaired the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
  • Ranking Member Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta). Senator O’Brien is a first term member of the Ohio Senate, and previously served three terms in the Ohio House.  He holds a law degree from the University of Akron, and served as a prosecuting attorney for a number of years.
  • Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)
  • Bob Hackett (R-London)
  • Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City)
  • Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard)
  • Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester)
  • Rob McColley (R-Napoleon)
  • Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House)
  • Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township)

United States House of Representatives Agriculture Committee

  • Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota). Representative Peterson represents the western portion of Minnesota, which is predominantly rural and agricultural.  He grew up on a farm, and was a Certified Public Accountant.  He has many years of legislative experience at the state and federal level, and takes a keen interest in federal tax policy and conservation as it pertains to agriculture.
  • Vice-Chair Alma Adams (D-North Carolina). Representative Adams’ district includes much of Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas.  She taught art for over 40 years, and received her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from the Ohio State University in 1981.  She has many years of legislative experience at the local, state, and federal level, and takes a keen interest in nutrition and education.
  • Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas). Representative Conaway represents much of central Texas.  He has a business background, having worked with former-President George W. Bush as the chief financial officer for Bush Exploration, an oil company.
  • David Scott (D-Georgia)
  • Jim Costa (D-California)
  • Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)
  • Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts)
  • Filemon Vela (D-Texas)
  • Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia)
  • Jahana Hayes (D-Connecticut)
  • Antonio Delgado (D-New York)
  • TJ Cox (D-California)
  • Angie Craig (D-Minnesota)
  • Anthony Brindisi (D-New York)
  • Jefferson Van Drew (D-New Jersey)
  • Josh Harder (D-California)
  • Kim Schrier (D-Washington)
  • Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)
  • Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois)
  • Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York)
  • Salud Carbajal (D-California)
  • Al Lawson (D-Florida)
  • Tom O’Halleran (D-Arizona)
  • Jimmy Panetta (D-California)
  • Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona)
  • Cindy Axne (D-Iowa)
  • Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-Pennsylvania)
  • Austin Scott (R-Georgia)
  • Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas)
  • Scott DesJarlais (R-Tennessee)
  • Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri)
  • Doug LaMalfa (R-California)
  • Rodney Davis (R-Illinois)
  • Ted Yoho (R-Florida)
  • Rick Allen (R-Georgia)
  • Mike Bost (R-Illinois)
  • David Rouzer (R-North Carolina)
  • Ralph Abraham (R-Louisiana)
  • Trent Kelly (R-Mississippi)
  • James Comer (R-Kentucky)
  • Roger Marshall (R-Kansas)
  • Don Bacon (R-Nebraska)
  • Neal Dunn (R-Florida)
  • Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota)
  • Jim Baird (R-Indiana)
  • Jim Hagedorn (R-Minnesota)

United States Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee

  • Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas). Senator Roberts has served in both houses of Congress since the 1980s, and was the first person to have been the chair of both the House and Senate agriculture committees.  His educational background is in journalism, and he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan). Senator Stabenow has served in both houses of Congress, and began her career in public service at the county and state level in the late 1970s.  She has long taken an interest in agricultural issues, and serves as a co-chair of the U.S. Senate Great Lakes Task Force.
  • Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
  • Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
  • John Boozman (R-Arkansas)
  • John Hoeven (R-North Dakota)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
  • Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
  • Michael Bennet (D-Colorado)
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York)
  • Mike Braun (R-Indiana)
  • Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pennsylvania)
  • David Perdue (R-Georgia)
  • Tina Smith (D-Minnesota)
  • Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
  • Richard Durbin (D-Illinois)
  • John Thune (R-South Dakota)
  • Deb Fisher (R-Nebraska)

As these committees take action over the next two years, we will do our best to keep you in the know.  Stay tuned to the Ohio Ag Law Blog for updates.

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