A Kansas congressman has been selected as a member of the agriculture committee, after four years without a Kansas representative on the panel.
Dr. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, was selected to join the House Agirculture Committee on Tuesday, representing Kansas’ 1st Congressional District. Marshall said his district, which includes a majority of the state with the exception of the eastern edge of Kansas and the Wichita metro area, is the largest ag-producing district in the country.
“People look to Kansas for guidance and direction when it comes to agriculture,” Marshall said.
His priorities on the board will be to influence the next Farm Bill, get rid of overregulation, work on trade and open up markets for Kansas products.
He said in order to have a safe, reliable and affordable food source in the country, it’s important to have a safety net for farmers when crop prices are at an all time low.
“People are gonna lose their farms, literally lose their farms if we don’t have this safety net.” Marshall said.
Kansas’ 1st Congressional District was represented in the House Committee of Agriculture until 2012, when Tim Huelskamp was removed from the committee following disagreements with House leaders. Marshall said his membership in the committee will be different, and he will work with others to solve problems.
He said he will listen to other members’ views, and together they will define problems, start thinking of solutions and “move the ship in the right direction.”
“If working with other people and listening with other people means compromise then I’m guilty of that,” Marshall said. “I don’t call it compromise; I call it leadership.”
Marshall said he has a great relationship with members of the committee and looks forward to working with them.
Marshall will also be a member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He said that committee will have significant interaction with the National Bioand Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, which is under construction at K-State. The facility will conduct animal disease research for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Marshall said his membership in the committee also will provide a great opportunity for growing research in Manhattan and at K-State, including drone research at the Salina campus.
“Whether it’s for research or grants, a lot of the funding for those start at the federal level,” he said.