U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., has been named the new chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.

“Every day, America’s farmers wake up early and go to work to support an agriculture economy that families rely on in rural communities across our country. I know this because I have seen it firsthand representing America’s Dairyland in the Senate,” Baldwin said in a news release. “Our farmers work hard and we should work just as hard in Washington to support them.”

The Senate Committee on Appropriations is responsible for writing the legislation that allocates federal funding to numerous government agencies, departments, and organizations each year.

“As Chair, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support farmers, ranchers, and producers, build a stronger and more secure agriculture economy, and get the job done on rural economic development for communities that too often feel they are being left behind by Washington,” Baldwin said.

Wisconsin agriculture officials praised the appointment, which will give Baldwin oversight of legislation directing federal funds to programs serving and strengthening the nation’s agricultural producers and processors.

“Wisconsin farmers have faced a tremendous amount of adversity over the last year. Having Sen. Baldwin as a leading voice for Wisconsin’s farmers in Washington will amplify rural voices to build a stronger agriculture economy,” Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Krentz said in a news release. “We look forward to working with Sen. Baldwin to improve our rural economies and secure our food supply chains.”

“Sen. Baldwin has been a champion for Wisconsin agriculture, and she will serve family farmers well in this appointment to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture,” Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden said. “With her knowledge of the hardships that farmers and the agricultural industry are facing, Sen. Baldwin will be a strong advocate for innovative approaches as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and looks toward relief for farm country in the 2022 Farm Bill.”

Baldwin has served on the Senate Appropriations Committee since 2015, and she will also serve as a member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies; the Subcommittee on Defense; the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development; and the Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

In addition to serving on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Baldwin serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Baldwin has served on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee for six years. During that time she has sponsored the bipartisan DAIRY PRIDE Act, which would compel FDA to enforce current law by requiring marketers of imitation dairy products to use proper labeling. She has also advocated for critical improvements to the dairy safety net both in the Bipartisan Budget Act and the 2018 Farm Bill. Baldwin also sponsored the bipartisan FARMERS FIRST Act which reestablished The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to help farmers manage the unique stressors they face.

“Sen. Baldwin has been a champion for Wisconsin agriculture for many years. She is an excellent choice to lead this important subcommittee,” said Randy Romanski, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “As Congress makes decisions on COVID-19 relief, the 2022 Farm Bill, and many other federal funding programs, I know Sen. Baldwin will continue to be a leading voice in support of Wisconsin’s producers, processors, and agri-businesses.”

“Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been a strong and effective advocate for Wisconsin agriculture,” Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Executive Director John Umhoefer said. “Understanding the pressures on dairy farmers and processors, she has secured smart, targeted investments that are increasing the profitability of America’s family farms and boosting development of value-added dairy products for sale here and abroad.

“Sen. Baldwin has worked hard to stabilize and strengthen the U.S. dairy industry, and her focus will be essential, as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and begin work on the 2022 Farm Bill.”