Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee

Responsible for all matters pertaining to USDA agriculture, rural development programs, rural renewable energy development, research and extension, food safety, and conservation programs. 

Policy Briefs

  • Policy Brief

    Maintain Funding for USDA Rural Development Programs

    Urge your Members of Congress to support U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs throughout the FY 2020 appropriations process by meeting or exceeding FY 2019 funding levels. USDA Rural Development programs provide critical investments to key rural county priorities.
  • Policy Brief

    Support Key County Priorities as Congress Implements the 2018 Farm Bill

    Urge your members of congress to support county priorities throughout the development of the next farm bill. Programs throughout the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) help counties make critical investments in infrastructure, workforce and economic development, nutrition and conservation for some of our nation’s most underserved communities. Preserving these programs is vital to the strength and stability of our local and national economy. 

Latest Resources

  • Reports & Toolkits | Jan. 13, 2020

    NACo works to preserve local decision making, protect counties from unfunded mandates and preemption and strengthen the federal-state-local partnership.

  • Reports & Toolkits | Aug. 2, 2019

    The August recess in the federal legislative calendar provides a unique opportunity for county leaders to communicate with members of Congress, demonstrate the impact of your efforts in your communities and advocate for the federal programs that help to strengthen local programs and initiatives.

  • Advocacy | Jan. 2, 2019

    NACo works to preserve local decision making, to protect counties from unfunded mandates and local preemption and to strengthen the federal-state-local partnership.

Join a steering committee and make a difference. Learn more about getting involved in NACo's Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee:

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee


Melissa McKinlay
Palm Beach County, Florida


Vice Chair

Terry Burroughs
Okeechobee County, Florida


Harrison Moody
Dinwiddie County, Virginia


Craig Pedersen
Kings County, California


Luis Sanchez
Midland County, Texas


Subcommittee Chair

Bob Fox (Agriculture and Food Safety)
Renville County, Minnesota


James Schmidt (Rural Development)
Lincoln County, South Dakota


Subcommittee Vice Chair

Alexander Barnett (Agriculture and Food Safety)
County Judge/Executive
Harrison County, Kentucky


Tony Cherry (Rural Development)
Choctaw County, Alabama


Melvyn Houser
County Auditor
Pottawattamie County, Iowa


Keith Langenhahn (Agriculture and Food Safety)
Field Services Representative
Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin


David Meyer (Agriculture and Food Safety)
Washington County, Illinois


Lee Patterson (Rural Development)
Calhoun County, Alabama



  • Associate Legislative Director – Political Outreach Manager  
    (202) 942-4230