AND IT BEGINS! THE 115TH CONGRESS
Washington D.C. – January 4, 2017 – The new year is here and the 115th Congress has been sworn in (as of this morning), but Washington, D.C., is still speculating on who will be President-elect Trump’s secretary of agriculture. A candidate first mentioned months ago – former Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue – appears to be back at the top of Trump’s list according to the latest media reports. The secretary of agriculture is one of only two cabinet positions (the other being the secretary of Veterans Affairs) yet to be appointed by the president-elect. Some appointments of interest to conservation districts have been made, however. They include the appointments of U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to lead the Interior Department and Scott Pruitt, the current attorney general of Oklahoma, to head the EPA.
In Congress, Paul Ryan was once again voted speaker of the House and we expect House committee assignments to be made soon. NACD will be watching that process closely to make sure any new members on relevant House committees are aware of the critical work conservation districts do nationwide. Senate committee assignments were mostly made in December, although each party must ratify those assignments. For both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, the chairmen and ranking members will match that of the 114th Congress, with Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas as chairmen and Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan as ranking members.
The same can be said of the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will once again be chaired by Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, respectively. Altogether, 55 new House lawmakers and seven new senators were sworn in today. NACD is eager to start developing relationships with these new members of Congress.
RELATED STORY AND INTERVIEW
Inside the NACD with CEO Jeremy Peters and President Lee McDaniel: Congressional Recap & Annual Meeting Preview…
(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) December 13, 2016 – Joining me on the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Jeremy Peters, CEO and Lee McDaniel President of the National Association of Conservation Districts discussing several topics including:
- Congressional Recap from the NACD’s perspective
- Locally-led incentive based conservation effforts, a focus of the NACD
- NACD’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Denver – more details
- & more
National Association of Conservation District President Lee McDaniel operates his family’s Indian Spring Farm in Darlington, Maryland. He has served on the Harford Soil Conservation District’s board since 1997 and as chairman of board since 2005. He has served two terms as president of the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (from 2005 to 2009), and on the NACD Board of Directors and Executive Board since 2005. McDaniel holds a B.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell University. McDaniel and his wife Connie, a retired school teacher, grow corn, soybeans, and alfalfa on their 850-acre farm. Conservation practices on the farm include cover crops, no-till, grassed waterways, diversions, spring developments, strip cropping, stream bank protection, grassed and wooded buffers, and stream crossings.
NACD CEO Jeremy Peters returned to NACD from American Farmland Trust in October 2014 to serve as COO. In April 2015, he took on the role of CEO, managing the association and leading advocacy efforts on behalf of the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts. Earlier in his career, Peters served as the NACD Legislative Affairs Manager, and directed climate, conservation, and energy programs for National Farmers Union. He also has worked on Capitol Hill for former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., who sat on the House Agriculture Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. Peters grew up on a family farm raising beef cattle in rural southwest Virginia. He holds two bachelor’s degrees in political science and history from Emory and Henry College, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
The National Association of Conservation District’s mission is to serve conservation districts by providing national leadership and a unified voice for natural resource conservation. For more information about the National Association of Conservation Districts – http://www.nacdnet.org/
And for more information about the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, an NACD Member – http://coloradoacd.org/