Poppe, Sparks appointed as committee chairs

Published 10:33 am Monday, November 26, 2012

Rep. Jeanne Poppe and Sen. Dan Sparks, both DFL-Austin, will lead committees in the upcoming legislative session.

Minnesota House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen appointed Poppe chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee Monday.

“Considering the important impact agriculture and the food industries make on Minnesota’s economy and the vitality of rural communities across the state, it’s an honor to be named Chair of the Agriculture Policy Committee,” Poppe, recently re-elected to a fifth term, said in a statement.

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The committee will address challenges facing farmers and ways to develop and enhance products and production.

Elsewhere in the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk announced Wednesday Sparks would lead the Senate’s Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee when the DFL regains control of it in January.

“Sen. Sparks has been a tireless advocate for rural Minnesota, agriculture and job creation across the entire state,” Bakk said.

Sparks will be chairing a full policy committee for the first time, though he has served on jobs and agriculture committees before.

“Agriculture is a backbone of our communities down here in Southern Minnesota, and I’ve been fortunate to gain very good insights and ideas from local leaders on how to encourage more rural development,” Sparks said. “And, of course, job-creation is one of the most important and pressing issues facing all of Minnesota right now.”