Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow has selected a new majority staff director to replace Joe Shultz, who has served as both majority and minority staff director and chief economist.

Shultz, who has been rumored to be leaving for several weeks, “will be transitioning to work on climate and agriculture issues off Capitol Hill,” according to Stabenow, D-Mich. Shultz declined to name his new employer. 

“I am excited to welcome Erica Chabot to the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee,” said Stabenow. “Whether it’s supporting our farmers and rural economy or making sure our children are fed, Erica has the knowledge and experience to lead our talented team as we continue our important work this Congress. There is nothing on Capitol Hill Erica hasn’t tackled — she knows how to get things done.”

A 20-year veteran of Capitol Hill, Chabot has spent the last 10 years as Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff. As legislative director, Chabot led agriculture and nutrition-related initiatives for Leahy, D-Vt., for the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. A New Hampshire native and graduate of St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, Chabot has been a key adviser on dairy policy, farm-to-school issues, conservation, and rural development. She also served as the Judiciary Committee communications director for five years. 

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“I cannot thank Joe Shultz enough for his incredible leadership and invaluable service to our team over the past 11 years,” Stabenow continued. “Under his steady hand, we’ve written the last two Farm Bills together — the last one passing with a historic bipartisan vote. There is no question our nation’s farmers, families, and rural communities are better off today because of his hard work and dedication. He may be an Ohio State Buckeye, but he will be deeply missed.”

Shultz is a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Senate and has worked on the staff of the Senate Ag Committee for 11 years. He previously served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Shultz is an Ohio native and graduate of The Ohio State University. 

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