WASHINGTON – After serving in numerous leadership roles in the House Agriculture Committee since 2003, Georgia Congressman Representative David Scott was approved on Dec. 3 as the next Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee by the Democratic Caucus. In his new role, Scott will oversee legislative activity that regulates the country’s agriculture industry, forestry, rural development and nutrition. Scott is the first African American to serve in the role. Effective in January, Scott will succeed Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who served as chairman for the past six years in Congress before losing his bid to become reelected in November.

During his tenure with the committee, Scott’s contributions included spearheading the passage of the last three US Farm Bills; chairing the Subcommittees on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit as well as Livestock and Foreign Agriculture; obtaining financial aid for farmers affected by critical disasters; ensuring the food security of families, school children and senior citizens by bolstering programs designed to provide them with food; and securing $80 million for new scholarships for students attending African-American land-grant colleges and universities.

“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee,” Scott said. “I was born on my grandparents’ farm in rural Aynor, South Carolina, during the days of segregation, and the hardships, of those, on whose shoulders I now stand. I owe this historic selection as the first African American Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to a diverse coalition of members from across our nation. And I will use this critical opportunity to represent the values of our entire caucus and advance our priorities for trade, disaster aid, climate change, sustainable agriculture, SNAP, crop insurance, small family farms, specialty crops, and rural broadband. The fault lines dividing our rural and urban communities are running deep, and climate change is now threatening our nation’s food supply. As chairman, I will lead the fight to rise up and meet these challenges.”

Leaders of trade associations representing the meat and poultry industry applauded Scott’s nomination.

“Congressman Scott’s selection by his peers to lead the House Agriculture Committee is a testament to his longstanding work in food and nutrition policy,” said Julie Anna Potts, president and chief executive officer of the North American Meat Institute. “Congressman Scott has been a strong ally of animal agriculture and we look forward to working with him on the issues that impact the meat and poultry industry.”

Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council, also expressed his congratulations.

“On behalf of the chicken industry, I want to congratulate Congressman Scott on being named the next Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, a historic achievement as the first African American and first Georgia House member to ever hold the position,” Brown said. “As a veteran of the committee and a long-time member of the Congressional Chicken Caucus, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of agricultural issues to the chairmanship. We look forward to working with him in the 117th Congress on matters of importance to our industry.”