The new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, as expected, will be Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Tuesday.
Reid also named ten more Democrats to serve on the committee when the new Democrat-led Congress convenes next year. The committee assignments, still subject to Republican consultations, are as follows: incumbents Sens. Pat Leahy, Vt.; Kent Conrad, N.D.; Max Baucus, Mont.; Blanche Lincoln, Ark.; Debbie Stabenow, Mich.; Ken Salazar, Colo.; and Ben Nelson Neb. Newly elected and named to the committee are: Senators-elect Sherrod Brown, who defeated Sen. Mike DeWine in Ohio; Bob Casey, who defeated Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania: and Amy Klobuchar, who defeated Rep. Mark Kennedy in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, President Bush has nominated Mark Keenum as USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Services. Keenum, a longtime staff member and current chief of staff for Sen. Thad Cochran, R. Miss., would take the place of Dr. J.B. Penn, now chief economist for Deere & Co.