CONGRESSMEN EVERETT APPOINTED TO CHAIR AG SUBCOMMITTEE
"MONTGOMERY, Ala." After a year of drought, devastation and disappointment in 2000, Alabama peanut growers have started this year off on a positive note with Congressman Terry Everett (R-AL) being named to chair the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Specialty Crops and Foreign Agriculture Programs. This subcommittee oversees peanuts and other crops such as tobacco and sugar production as well as foreign agriculture trade and assistance programs.
"We are very excited and proud of Congressman Everett and his appointment as chairman of such a vital subcommittee to the peanut growers," said Randy Griggs, executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. "We recognize that with this new position Congressman Everett will probably face various challenges, considering a new farm bill is in the making. However, peanut growers can rest assured that Congressman Everett has the interest of agriculture and peanuts in particular at heart."
Everett, an eight-year veteran of the full House Agriculture Committee, says the subcommittee chair in the 107th Congress will benefit Southeast Alabama, the state and the entire the nation.
"I am excited over the opportunity to chair this vital subcommittee which has direct jurisdiction over federal agriculture programs that are key to Wiregrass and our nation's farmers," Everett said.
The Specialty Crops subcommittee oversees federal programs governing peanut, tobacco and sugar growers. These and other farm programs will be rewritten beginning this year with the drafting of the new five-year federal Farm Bill, Everett added.
Carl Sanders, a Coffee County peanut farmer who serves as president of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and president of the Coffee County Farmers Federation, says learning that Everett had been appointed to serve as chairman of this subcommittee was the best news he had heard in a while.
"Congressman Everett has represented the views of our peanut growers in the past, and I'm very pleased to hear that his hard work and dedication to agriculture is being recognized in Washington," Sanders said. "There's no doubt in my mind that Congressman Everett will continue to represent not only Alabama peanut growers, but our nation's farmers in a positive way. I'm sure he will be a great leader of this subcommittee."
"To be in a position to help write federal farm law which directly impacts our growers is a tremendous advantage for Alabama," Everett stated. "The chairmanship of the agriculture subcommittee will afford our farmers a loud voice to shape the new farm policy.
"Furthermore, before running for Congress I set a goal of promoting Alabama peanuts in overseas markets, including their inclusion in American foreign aid programs. This new subcommittee chair helped open this door to new markets for growers."
The chairmanship marks the first time in almost 50 years that southeast Alabama has had a representative among the leadership of the House Agriculture Committee.