For many Messenger readers the new year will bring with it a change in their representation in Congress.
Every 10 years - following the finalization of the U.S. Census - some states find it necessary to reconfigure congressional districts to reflect population changes. As a result of the Census, Iowa now has one less congressman. Steve King, a Republican who has been in the U.S. House of Representatives for a decade serving the soon to be defunct 5th Congressional District, was elected in November to represent the Hawkeye State's substantially redrawn 4th Congressional District.
The 4th Congressional District is heavily rural. It is destined to lead the nation in egg and pork production and will produce huge corn and soybean crops. According to a statement released by King's office, the district will also rank first among all 435 congressional districts in ethanol and total renewable energy production.
Consequently, it is good news that King has been chosen for a key agricultural leadership role in the 113th Congress. He will chair the Department Operations, Oversight and Nutrition Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee.
King issued a statement welcoming this new leadership role and stressing its significance given the nature of his district.
"I have been a member of the Agriculture Committee since I first came to Congress, and I see representing such an agriculturally focused district as a privilege," he said. "It is important for this intensely agricultural district to have more oversight in USDA programs that affect our entire nation. ... Iowa's voice on agriculture will be stronger with this new appointment."
The Messenger congratulates King on being selected for this key role. He has an opportunity to make important contributions to the advancement of agriculture not only in northwest Iowa, but also throughout rural America.