The Hutchinson News

The American Farm Bureau Federation gave U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler/Hutchinson, the "Friend of Farm Bureau Award" for services to the agricultural community during the 112th Congress, which ended in January 2013.

About 250 of the 535 members in the Senate and House received the award, including the full contingent from Kansas on Capitol Hill. "As a farmer myself, I understand the challenges that farmers across the state face day in and day out," Huelskamp stated in a press release, also saying he was honored to receive the award. The Friend of Farm Bureau award is given to those members of Congress nominated by their respective state Farm Bureaus and approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors, according to the press release. The national organization looks at the voting records of elected leaders on priority issues, the number of bills a member has sponsored or co-sponsored, and how accessible and responsive the official is to Farm Bureau members and leaders, the web site said. In December 2012, House Republican leadership bounced Huelskamp off the House Agriculture Committee. Other conservative members also were stripped of their preferred committee assignments. Huelskamp said it was retribution because he did not vote in line with House GOP leaders on some issues.