Sen. Pat Roberts (R, KS), one of the most ag-savvy veteran members of the Senate having served as chair of the House Agriculture Committee during his tenure in that chamber, will become the new ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee when the 112th Congress begins in January, 2011.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R, GA), former ranking member, opted to take the ranking slot on the Senate Intelligence Committee thus allowing Roberts to step in as the new ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee.  Roberts' expertise and farm bill experience will be critical as Congress moves to rewrite federal farm programs over the next two years, particularly with Rep. Frank Lucas (R, OK) chairing the House Ag panel. Committee membership has yet to be finalized by Senate leadership.