Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) announced Jan. 4 that he would be serving the remainder of his Senate term but would not run for re-election in 2020.
Roberts has served 16 years in the House and another 22 in the Senate, having been up for re-election 24 times in his long tenure. He has held the chairman's gavel in six different committees -- including twice for the House Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee -- over his 40 years of service.
“I intend to sprint to the finish line,” Roberts said, adding that there are still challenges that need to be addressed. “Despite the partisan division and conflict in Washington that threatens progress, I continue to believe we can achieve results. We did it in the farm bill with a historic vote.”
He said his goals moving forward include urgent work on the nation’s trade policy, overseeing implementation of the farm bill as well as protecting national security and individual freedoms.
“Those who know me know I work hard, I persevere, I do not give up and I will do what it takes to get the job done,” Roberts added.
His Democrat ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), called Roberts a “true champion for American agriculture.”
Stabenow stated, “Day in and day out, he defines what it means to be a consensus builder. As my true friend and partner on the Senate Agriculture Committee, he always puts the needs of our farmers and ranchers first and never wavers in his commitment to getting things done.
“It is an honor to serve with him, and I look forward to working with him over the next two years on the important issues facing our farmers and families,” Stabenow said.