Coming and Going: RMA Head, Emerson, House Ag GOP

December 6, 2012 Bookmark and Share

It’s that time of year in Washington: the retirements, appointments and other personnel changes continue among high-level agriculture policymakers.

Last Friday, USDA announced Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Bill Murphy will retire at the end of the year after four years on the job.

Brandon Willis, a USDA advisor and former staffer for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), will be RMA’s acting administrator.

On the other side of Washington, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) announced this week the new Republican Members that will serve on his panel in the 113th Congress. They include the following:

  • Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.)
  • Rep.-Elect Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)
  • Rep.-Elect Rodney Davis (R-Ill.)
  • Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)
  • Rep.-Elect Richard Hudson (R-N.C.)
  • Rep.-Elect Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.)
  • Rep.-Elect Elect Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

There is also one vacancy on the Committee, which reportedly will be filled with a southern member. Rep. Tim Huleskamp (R-Kan.) was removed from the Committee, meaning the new Congress will be the first in more than 150 years without a Kansas Member on the Ag Committee.

Another House Member well-known for supporting agriculture, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), announced this week she plans to leave Congress in February to become the head of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

On Thursday, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced he would leave Congress to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

An earlier round of retirements and other moves was covered in last week’s newsletter. That story is available online at