LANSING — State Rep. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City) was named Democratic vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, in addition to being placed on the House Energy and Military and Veterans Affairs committees.

“Bay County, with some of the richest soil and most diverse farming in the state, is a true agricultural leader,” said Rep. Elder. “That’s why I’m honored to be given this appointment. Agriculture, from our proud family farmers, to major employers and taxpayers like Michigan Sugar, is a significant part of our local economy. I look forward to serving their interests and needs on this committee. More broadly, this is an opportunity to educate the public about the value of agricultural producers, the businesses that support their critical work, and the role that agriculture plays in our culture. The role that international trade plays in the economy of our very soil is little understood, and we need to do a better job of taking those individual concerns into account when we’re crafting agricultural policy. I look forward to helping direct those conversations with my colleagues.”