State Rep. Martin Causer was appointed chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee for the upcoming 2015-16 legislative session on Monday.
Causer, who is from Turtlepoint County, was named to the position by Speaker-Designate Rep. Mike Turzai.
In addition to his new position, Causer will continue to fulfill his responsibilities on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Elected to the state legislature in 2003, Causer chaired the House Game and Fisheries Committee in the previous legislative session.
Causer was raised on a dairy farm in McKean County, which is known for its crops, livestock, maple syrup production and timber industry.
Pennsylvania produces 10 percent of the accumulated hardwood output from the United States. The commonwealth also produces 140,000 gallons of maple syrup each year, making it fifth in maple syrup production across the U.S.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture estimates that the state’s agricultural industry brings in $75 billion annually, and 1 in every 7 jobs in Pennsylvania are related to the agriculture industry.
More than 59,000 farms are in Pennsylvania, 97 percent of which are family-owned, according to the state's agriculture department.
“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,” Causer said. “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.”