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Scott Looks to be Next Chair of House Ag Committee
USAgNet - 12/03/2020

The House Democratic Steering Committee selected Rep. David Scott of Georgia over Rep. Jim Costa of California on a 32-19 vote as its nominee for House Agriculture Committee chairman for 2021. The Democratic caucus will vote on the recommendation Thursday for Scott to replace long-time agricultural Democratic leader Rep. Collin Peterson, Minnesota, who did not get re-elected in this fall's election.

Scott ranks highest in seniority on the House Ag Committee and has served as an active member of the Committee since first being elected to the House in 2002. Scott previously served as the subcommittee chair of the Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit subcommittee. He will be the first representative from Georgia, and the first Black person to serve as committee chair.

Scott was born on a farm in rural South Carolina during segregation. After his parents moved north to find work, Scott said he spent his childhood years living and working on his grandparents' farm. "The core lessons I brought from these experiences still resonate throughout farming communities today, and I have drawn upon them as I have fought to support the needs of rural and urban America," Scott said in announcing his intent to run for the chairmanship.

Scott said he has fought to elevate the needs of vulnerable communities and ensure a stable and skilled workforce as well as strengthen the agriculture industry for future generations.

"However, the work of our Agriculture Committee in many ways reflects the most basic needs of our nation--food, nutrition, and financial resources--but also mirrors the greater movements of our time. And, amid a global pandemic, many fault lines already present in rural America have deepened," Scott said.

Scott noted even during years of growth, rural economies have lagged behind urban development, and the only pathway to prosperity for many of our young people drew them to seek opportunities beyond the borders of their rural towns. "And now, the heavy weight of the virus has fallen on these struggling communities, as access to reliable broadband, education, childcare and medicine are just out of reach," he said. "Rebuilding our economy must be inclusive and equitable, incorporating job growth and revitalization to strengthen our nation as a whole."

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