BERLIN – As anticipated, newly-elected Maryland Congressman Frank Kratovil this week was nominated to the House Committee on Agriculture, putting the First District representative in an important position for his constituents in Worcester County and the rest of the state’s First District.
Last Wednesday, the House Democratic Steering Committee named Kratovil to a seat on the House Committee on Agriculture, an important post for the largely rural, agrarian district he represents. Not along after he was elected in a tight congressional race in November, Kratovil made getting a seat on the House Agriculture Committee a top priority.
“I didn’t look at these assignments as what was best for me, instead I wanted seats on committees that dealt with core issues families in the First District face,” he said. “I think the Agriculture Committee is just that.”
Kratovil edged Republican Andy Harris in the First Congressional District race in November in a narrow election that came down to absentee ballots. Kratovil carried the nine rural counties of the Eastern Shore, while Harris scored well in the densely populated areas of the district on the other side of Chesapeake Bay.
From the beginning, Kratovil made it clear he intended to go to bat for the shore counties who strongly supported him in November including Worcester. Worcester officials are thrilled to have the freshman congressman representing them in Washington on all-important agriculture issues.
“This is very good news,” said County Commissioner and farmer Virgil Shockley. “I think with the way things are going with agriculture, particularly the poultry industry, here in Maryland and on the shore, to have somebody on that ag committee is huge. It’s great to have somebody in our camp keeping an eye on the federal side.”
The House Agriculture Committee has jurisdiction over federal agriculture policy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its oversight includes soil, water and resource conservation, small watershed programs, energy and bio-energy production, seafood and poultry production and rural development.
“Much of the First District is defined by agricultural concerns, and a seat on the agriculture committee puts me on the front lines,” said Kratovil. “I’ve met with large companies, small farms and environmentalists. I really believe we can find a common ground where everyone benefits, and that common ground is going to start on this committee.”