Blanche Lincoln has long been a strong voice for the agriculture community, and her leadership at the helm of the Senate Agriculture Committee will undoubtedly benefit Arkansas and the nation. I have watched her fight again and again for the interest of rural America, including during last year's Farm Bill negotiations. She combined a comprehensive knowledge of the issues with sharp policy skills. As a result, critical safety net programs were preserved and nutrition programs for children and families have been improved. I know Blanche will continue to work across the aisle to oversee implementation of the Farm Bill, keep nutrition and food safety at the forefront, and address the many challenges facing farmers and ranchers today.
I applaud Chairman Lincoln on this achievement alone, but I also want to congratulate her for being the first Arkansan and the first woman to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee. I look forward to working with Chairman Lincoln to ensure our nation continues to enjoy a safe and abundant food supply and a strong farm economy.