January 26, 2023

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman not running for reelection

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman not running for reelection 

By: Sydney Sheffield 

The United States Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow announced that she will not seek reelection in 2024 in Michigan. The agriculture panel’s top Democrat since 2011, Stabenow has a reputation as a tenacious negotiator willing to spend hours sounding out colleagues on their priorities. She holds the legacy as the first woman elected to the Senate in the state of Michigan. 

“When I ran for the State Legislature in 1978, there were only eight women serving in the State House and none in the State Senate or top statewide offices. This year there are 44 women serving in the State House and 15 in the Senate! Women hold the top three statewide elected offices, and we have the first female Majority Leader in the State Senate,” Stabenow said in a press release. 

Stabenow has navigated lawmakers' regional priorities for traditional commodity crops and goals for giving organic farmers, fruit and vegetable producers, and urban growers more access to Agriculture Department programs when handling Farm Bill negotiations. She also defended the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, the program typically accounts for more than half of all farm bill spending.

“For the next two years, I am intensely focused on continuing this important work to improve the lives of Michiganders. This includes leading the passage of the next five-year Farm Bill which determines our nation’s food and agriculture policies. It is also key in protecting our land and water and creating jobs in our rural and urban communities,” Stabenow said. 

John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, released the following statement regarding Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s announcement. 

“I appreciate Chairwoman Stabenow’s leadership and our history of working well together to get important legislation, both to help producers and ensure children have access to healthy and nutritious meals during the summer, passed into law. We will continue to build on those efforts as we work to pass a farm bill this year that will provide producers with the safety net they need during a very precarious time for agriculture. Last year, I was pleased to visit Michigan and then welcome Chairwoman Stabenow to Arkansas to kick off that process. Her work with former Chairman Pat Roberts to pass the last farm bill that received a record number of votes in support on the Senate floor gives me confidence that we can move the next farm bill forward this year in the same manner to empower America’s farmers and ranchers to continue producing the safest, most affordable food supply in the world.”

The 2023 Farm Bill is starting to take shape, and a new budget is estimated for spring 2023.