by Susan Ryan
Representative Tim Johnson was appointed the chair of an important Agriculture sub-committee in our nation's capitol. From the Champaign News-Gazette:
U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, has been appointed chair of the rural development subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee for the 112th Congress beginning next year.
"It's a subcommittee assignment for areas that directly affect central Illinois," said Johnson's spokesman, Phil Bloomer.
The subcommittee deals with issues such as rural development programs, agriculture research (including biotechnology), foreign agriculture aid, trade promotion and family farming matters.
Representative Johnson says this in his press release:
Rep. Johnson is entering his sixth term in Congress since being elected in 2000. He has served on the Agriculture Committee the entire time and is currently the third ranking member on the committee.
“I am of course honored by this appointment and the faith that Chairman Lucas has placed in me,” Rep. Johnson said. “I am also extremely proud to represent the great state of Illinois on this committee and as chairman of this important subcommittee.
“Coming from Central Illinois and having operated a small farm, I understand the agriculture industry in ways that perhaps other lawmakers and indeed many Americans do not. I appreciate the research efforts undergirding the industry at places like the University of Illinois’ College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and other land-grant universities. And I know only too well that the reach and influence of our producers goes far beyond the fencerows. It extends to the kitchen tables, to the school lunch rooms to the very economies of our towns and villages. As farmers prosper or fail, so goes the fate of our department stores, car dealers and cafes.
“I pledge to be a strong voice for all those interests as we begin debate next year on a new farm bill.”
As the 6th generation of a central Illinois farming family, I look forward to Representative Johnson's strong voice for small family farms. That heritage is priceless. More importantly and often ignored is the quality of the food going into Americans' mouths.
Representative Johnson has an extremely important leadership role with this Committee. I wish him well for the sake of our health and well-being.