U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is the new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Goodlatte was elected to the post in January.

He replaces U.S. Rep. Larry Combest, R-Texas, who announced his retirement.

Goodlatte, 50, represents the 6th Congressional District of Virginia. He was elected to the House in 1992, on his first run for public office.

“I am honored to have been chosen to serve in this position of leadership,” Goodlatte says. “The work of the Agriculture Committee affects the lives of every American. Just in the last session of Congress we addressed a wide number of issues ranging from bio terrorism and homeland security to food stamps and welfare reform, from conservation and nutrition to forest management, trade and rural development.Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said Goodlatte's proven track record is a “sure sign he will effectively and efficiently oversee the work of the House in setting agriculture policy.”

Previously, Goodlatte served as chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry.

Goodlatte is the first House Ag Committee chairman from Virginia since John Flannagan served from 1945-1947.

He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law. Before being elected to Congress, Goodlatte served as a district office manager for former Congressman Caldwell Butler in Virginia 6th District. In 1979, he founded his own private law practice and was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman from 1981 until he became a congressman.

Goodlatte also serves on the Judiciary Committee and Education and Workforce Committee.

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