Former Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Coalition Chair
On November 3, 1998, Senator Blanche L. Lincoln made history when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the United States Senate at the age of 38 – a milestone that still exists today. Lincoln made history again on September 9, 2009, when she became the first female to serve as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee in its 184-year history.
During her 16 year career in the U.S. Congress, first as a two-term member of the House of Representatives and then as a two-term member of the U.S. Senate, she built a reputation as a results-oriented, bipartisan legislator. She served on the several Committees in Congress; including, the House Committee on Agriculture, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Special Committee on Aging, and the Senate Finance Committee and is widely recognized as a national leader in the areas of agriculture, anti-hunger, aging, healthcare, international trade, taxes, and energy policy.
As one of the Finance Committee’s top-ranking Democrats, Lincoln was named the first woman Democratic Senator to lead a Finance Committee Subcommittee. During her time on the Finance Committee, she went on to Chair two Subcommittees and helped develop and pass legislation reducing taxes, improving healthcare, and expanding international trade.
A senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Lincoln worked to produce bipartisan legislation improving energy efficiency and enhancing domestic energy supplies; including, nuclear and renewable sources.
In her fight against hunger, she founded the Senate Hunger Caucus and used her Chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee to author and enact the largest investment in child nutrition programs ever. The new law was deficit neutral, established nutritional standards for school lunches for the first time, received strong bipartisan support, and was signed into law by President Obama.
As a farmer’s daughter, she became known as a champion of production agriculture who fought to ensure that producers were able to continue to provide the safest, most abundant, and affordable supply of food and fiber to meet the global needs of the 21st century.
Senator Lincoln is a Helena, Arkansas native where her mother, Martha Kelly Lambert, still resides. She received a bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia and together with her husband, Dr. Steve Lincoln, are the proud parents of twin boys, Reece and Bennett. In her spare time, she enjoys duck hunting and fishing with her family.