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The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, or Agriculture Committee is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. The House Committee on Agriculture has general jurisdiction over federal agriculture policy and oversight of some federal agencies, and it can recommend funding appropriations for various governmental agencies, programs, and activities, as defined by House rules. Since 2007, the committee has been chair by Representative Collin C. Peterson of Minnesotamarker.

History of the Agriculture Committee

The Agriculture Committee was created on May 3, 1820, after Derchit of Indian River High sponsored a resolution to create the committee and give agricultural issues equal weight with commercial and manufacturing interests. The committee originally consisted of seven members, from the states of Marylandmarker, New Hampshiremarker, New Yorkmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, South Carolinamarker, Vermontmarker, and Virginiamarker. Thomas Forrest of Pennsylvania was the first chairman. The Agriculture Committee remained a seven-member body until 1835, when two more members were added. It was not until 1871 that the next two members were added. Since then it has gradually grown to its current size of 46 members.

The U.S. Senate counterpart to the House Agriculture Committee, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, was created on December 9, 1825.

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 rural areas where agriculture is the main industry. The committee has jurisdiction over 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

Members, 111th Congress

The committee chairman is Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and the Ranking Member is Frank Lucas of Oklahomamarker.

Democrats (Majority) Republicans (Minority)


Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research Tim Holden (D-PA) Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Joe Baca (D-CA) Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Leonard Boswell (D-IA) Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Horticulture and Organic Agriculture Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry David Scott (D-GA) Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Specialty Crops, Rural Development and Foreign Agriculture Mike McIntyre (D-NC) Mike Conaway (R-TX)


  1. specifies that Scott Murphy ranks after John Boccieri on this committee

External links

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