U.S. Rep. Terri A. Sewell, a Democrat who represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, has been selected to serve on the House Committee on Agriculture. Ranking House Agriculture Committee Member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., made the announcement.

The House Committee on Agriculture creates farm policy and drafts legislation to protect the interests of rural America. The committee’s jurisdiction includes rural development, agricultural colleges, farming, nutrition, renewable energy, conservation, bioterrorism, forestry and many others.

Sewell joins fellow freshman Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, on the Agriculture Committee of the 112th Congress.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve on the House Committee on Agriculture,” Sewell said. “By serving on this committee, I have the opportunity to advocate for the critical needs of the 7th Congressional District of Alabama. I will promote innovative legislation that will strengthen our small businesses, our land grant institutions, support both urban and rural economic development and work to improve the nutritional challenges facing our children, seniors and families. This committee assignment will help to ensure that America remains a dominant exporter of agricultural goods, which will create and protect good-paying, cutting-edge jobs in the district and across the country.”

Sewell’s district includes west Alabama where the bulk of the state’s catfish industry is located. Alabama ranks second in the U.S. in annual catfish sales totaling more than $90 million annually. Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry Newby said Sewell’s appointment strengthens the voice of Alabama farmers in Washington.

“Alabama’s 7th Congressional District and our entire state is fortunate to have Rep. Sewell serving on the House Agriculture Committee and we are delighted with her appointment,” he said. “Agriculture is our state’s largest industry, and we know she will an advocate for our farmers. As Congress begins writing the new farm bill, it will be more important than ever that we have someone looking out for the farmers of our state.”

The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 420,000 members. The Federation represents 17 commodity divisions.