With the announcement this week that Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) will chair the Appropriations subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, the chicken industry looks to have long-standing friends in targeted positions.

In the Senate, along with Senator Mark Pryor as subcommittee chair, Senator Barbara Mikulski  (D-MD), the first woman to chair the full Senate Appropriations Committee, is from a chicken state and the ranking member of the full Appropriations Committee Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is also from an important poultry state.  To round out the Appropriations Committee, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) will be the ranking member of the Agriculture Subcommittee.

Senator Thad Cochran will now be ranking member of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition Committee, replacing Senator Pat Roberts (D-KS). Cochran was next in line in seniority to chair the Agriculture Committee and took the ranking member spot to oversee the writing of the farm bill reauthorization.  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will continue in his role as minority leader, and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) will take the reins as ranking member of Environment and Public Works Committee from Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

On the other side of the Capitol, the industry is also represented well.  Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) will chair the Judiciary Committee.  This committee is in charge of writing the immigration overhaul. Goodlatte is also vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.  Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) will be the incoming subcommittee chairman of Agriculture, Rural Development. Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, taking the reins from Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who will now be subcommittee chair of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.  Three other poultry-friendly members have joined the full Appropriations Committee: Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), and David Valadao (R-CA).

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) will be the new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Livestock, Dairy and Poultry subcommittee, taking over the subcommittee from Tom Rooney (R-FL).  Crawford will also be resuming his role as co-chair of the Congressional Chicken Caucus.