WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today issued the following statement upon being re-named the Subcommittee Chairman on Rural Development and Energy:

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as chairman of the Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee. This subcommittee will focus on enhancing our agriculture industry by seeking out innovative solutions in energy and economic development, and fostering job creation and stability in the market. I look forward to building upon the progress made last congress to help strengthen our rural communities.”

Last year, Senator Ernst chaired a Senate Agriculture Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy hearing in which she stressed the need to examine rural development programs and regulations to ensure they are effective and efficient. Senator Ernst’s subcommittee was the only one of the five within the Ag Committee to hold a hearing in the 114th Congress.

The Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee oversees numerous programs in the rural development mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including economic recovery as well as job and business growth; telecommunications and utilities; electrification; loans; housing; and improving renewable energy and energy efficiency for farms and ranches.

Senator Ernst will also continue to serve on the subcommittees of Nutrition, Specialty Crops and Agricultural Research as well as Livestock, Marketing and Agricultural Security.