Senate Debates Agriculture Nominee

9 years 10 months 5 days ago May 24, 2007 May 24, 2007 Thursday, May 24 2007 Thursday, May 24, 2007 2:30:31 PM CDT in News

Governor Blunt's pick for the job faced a few tough questions in the interview.

With rising flood waters concerning many people across Missouri, one might forget about other issues state lawmakers face.

But Missouri needs a new agriculture director.

Governor Blunt's choice is 29-year-old Katie Smith from Platte County.

Despite her youth, Senate Republicans believes her experience on a national level qualifies her for the job.

"A lot of state ag policy interacts with federal ag policy, and those connections and contacts that she has with people in D.C. I think will serve Missouri agriculture very well," said Republican Senator Charlie Shields.

Even though Shields assures the Senate that Smith is qualified to direct the Agriculture Department, opponents on the other side of the aisle question if the appointment is even legal.

State law requires the agriculture director to have been what it calls a practical farmer.

"Having a degree or growing up on a farm probably are not the qualifications that I would say would meet the practical farmer as our statute intended in to be," said Democratic Senator Wes Shoemyer.

Despite the objection, the committee voted to approve smith.

Now she faces a final confirmation hearing with entire senate.

Smith was approved by the later Wednesday afternoon.

She will face a full senate voter later this week.

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