WASHINGTON – Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., has been selected by the House Democratic Caucus to serve as the Ranking Member on the House Agriculture Committee. Rep. Peterson succeeds Texas Rep. Charles Stenholm who was defeated in the November election.

"I'm honored to be given this opportunity", Peterson said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge and to continuing to serve the agricultural concerns of my District."

As the most senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee, Peterson will likely serve as one of the party's policy leaders for all areas of the committee's jurisdiction, which includes oversight of USDA and all of its various agencies and programs, the Conservation Reserve Program, Disaster Assistance, Rural Development, Livestock Compensation, Crop Insurance and Food Safety.

In addition, the committee also has jurisdiction over the Food and Drug Administration, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

"Rural America is often forgotten by the federal government, and I will be working to change that,” Peterson said. “As most people know the federal budget is a mess, and we're running the largest deficit in history. I'm hearing that the Administration intends to make deep cuts in agriculture programs and other programs that affect life in rural areas.

“We've got to fight them on that and defend the interests of American farmers and ranchers and the economic base of rural communities if we're going to maintain a bright future for rural America."

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