House Speaker-Designate Mike Turzai made the announcement regarding committee chairs just a few moments ago, and Causer will now head the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
State Rep. Keith Gillespie of York County will now head the Game and Fisheries Committee.
State Rep. Matt Baker will head up the Health Committee.
“Agriculture is our state’s top industry, and that’s because our farms and agribusinesses are operated by some of the hardest-working people in the Commonwealth,” said Causer. “I look forward to working together to ensure the industry continues to thrive in every way, from the smallest family farm to the largest processing operations.”
Causer grew up on a dairy farm in McKean County and represents a region rich in crop and livestock farming, as well as timbering and maple syrup production. Pennsylvania is the largest producer of hardwoods in the country, accounting for 10 percent of the total hardwood output in the United States. It ranks fifth in maple syrup production at approximately 140,000 gallons of syrup annually. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the agriculture industry has an estimated economic impact of $75 billion annually. The state is home to more than 59,000 farms, 97 percent of which are family owned. One in seven jobs in the Commonwealth is related to agriculture. In addition to legislation directly affecting the state’s farmers and farming operations, the committee handles a variety of issues including legislation impacting the timber industry, horse and harness racing regulation, food safety and restaurant inspections, Dog Law enforcement and kennel licensure, the use of pesticides, and the administration of state-funded programs to promote agriculture in Pennsylvania. This session, Causer also will continue his long-time service as a member of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
The appointments are not official until they are read on the House floor tomorrow.