WASHINGTON – Outgoing Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, was praised by the National Pork Producers Council for being a "true friend" of America’s pork producers. N.P.P.C. also welcomed long-time Agriculture Committee member Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., as the panel’s new chairwoman.

"Senator Harkin has been a strong champion for and true friend of the U.S. pork industry, and N.P.P.C. is grateful for his leadership," said Don Butler, N.P.P.C. president. "It was his leadership that ensured that the 2008 Farm Bill was good for pork producers and didn’t contain any mischief for our industry."

Since January 1999, Chairwoman Lincoln has served on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and she was also the chair during the most recent Congress of the committee’s on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit Subcommittee. She served as the chair of the Subcommittee on Production, Income Protection, and Price Support, during the 110th Congress. In 2004, Lincoln founded the bipartisan Senate Hunger Caucus to help focus the Senate’s attention on the hunger that exists in the country.

While a member of the House of Representatives, Ms. Lincoln served on the House Committee on Agriculture from 1993-1995.

"Senator Lincoln played key role in the 2008 Farm Bill debate, ensuring a strong safety net for America’s farm families," Mr. Butler said. "The U.S. pork industry welcomes and congratulates her as the new chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee. Senator Lincoln knows and understands the livestock and poultry industries, and we look forward to continuing our work with her to advance issues important to U.S. pork producers and all of agriculture."