United States House Committee on Agriculture

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.

House Agriculture Committee
Standing committee

United States House of Representatives
116th Congress
FormedMay 3, 1820
ChairCollin Peterson (D)
Since January 3, 2019
Ranking memberMike Conaway (R)
Since January 3, 2019
Vice chairAlma Adams (D)
Since January 3, 2019
Political partiesMajority (26)
Minority (21)
Oversight authorityDepartment of Agriculture
Senate counterpartSenate Agriculture Committee
Meeting place
1300 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

    History of the Agriculture Committee

    The Agriculture Committee was created on May 3, 1820, after Lewis Williams of North Carolina 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 Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. 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 developments
    • Water conservation related to activities of the Department of Agriculture

    Members, 116th Congress

    Majority Minority

    Resolutions electing members: H.Res. 24 (Chair), H.Res. 25 (Ranking Member), H.Res. 57 (D), H.Res. 68 (R)

    Historical membership rosters

    115th Congress

    Majority[1] Minority[2]


    Subcommittee Chair[3] Ranking Member[4]
    Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit David Scott (D-GA) Austin Scott (R-GA)
    Conservation and Forestry Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
    Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Marcia Fudge (D-OH) Dusty Johnson (R-SD)
    General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Filemon Vela Jr. (D-TX) Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
    Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) Neal Dunn (R-FL)
    Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Jim Costa (D-CA) David Rouzer (R-NC)

    Chairmen since 1820

    Thomas Forrest Federalist Pennsylvania 1820–1821
    Josiah Butler Democratic-Republican New Hampshire 1821–1823
    Stephen Van Rensselaer National Republican New York 1823–1829
    Ambrose Spencer National Republican New York 1829–1831
    Erastus Root Democratic New York 1831–1833
    Abraham Bockee Democratic New York 1833–1837
    Edmund Deberry Whig North Carolina 1837–1845
    Joseph H. Anderson Democratic New York 1845–1847
    Hugh White Whig New York 1847–1849
    Nathaniel S. Littlefield Democratic Maine 1849–1851
    John G. Floyd Democratic New York 1851–1853
    John L. Dawson Democratic Pennsylvania 1853–1855
    David P. Holloway Opposition Indiana 1855–1857
    William G. Whiteley Democratic Delaware 1857–1859
    Martin Butterfield Republican New York 1859–1861
    Owen Lovejoy Republican Illinois 1861–1863
    Brutus J. Clay Union Kentucky 1863–1865
    John Bidwell Republican California 1865–1867
    Rowland E. Trowbridge Republican Michigan 1867–1869
    John T. Wilson Republican Ohio 1869–1873
    Charles Hays Republican Alabama 1873–1875
    John H. Caldwell Democratic Alabama 1875–1877
    Augustus W. Cutler Democratic New Jersey 1877–1879
    James W. Covert Democratic New York 1879–1881
    Edward K. Valentine Republican Nebraska 1881–1883
    William H. Hatch Democratic Missouri 1883–1889
    Edward H. Funston Republican Kansas 1889–1891
    William H. Hatch Democratic Missouri 1891–1895
    James W. Wadsworth Republican New York 1895–1907
    Charles F. Scott Republican Kansas 1907–1911
    John Lamb Democratic Virginia 1911–1913
    Asbury F. Lever Democratic South Carolina 1913–1919
    Gilbert N. Haugen Republican Iowa 1919–1931
    Marvin Jones Democratic Texas 1931–1941
    Hampton P. Fulmer Democratic South Carolina 1941–1945
    John W. Flannagan, Jr. Democratic Virginia 1945–1947
    Clifford R. Hope Republican Kansas 1947–1949
    Harold D. Cooley Democratic North Carolina 1949–1953
    Clifford R. Hope Republican Kansas 1953–1955
    Harold D. Cooley Democratic North Carolina 1955–1967
    William R. Poage Democratic Texas 1967–1975
    Thomas S. Foley Democratic Washington 1975–1981
    Kika de la Garza Democratic Texas 1981–1995
    Pat Roberts Republican Kansas 1995–1997
    Robert F. Smith Republican Oregon 1997–1999
    Larry Combest Republican Texas 1999–2003
    Bob Goodlatte Republican Virginia 2003–2007
    Collin Peterson Democratic Minnesota 2007–2011
    Frank Lucas Republican Oklahoma 2011–2015
    Mike Conaway Republican Texas 2015–2019
    Collin Peterson Democratic Minnesota 2019-present


    See also

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