Sen. Tom Harkin (D, IA) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R, GA) announced this week they will not seek reelection in 2014. Their departure will signal the loss of two of agriculture’s most ardent supporters. Harkin, who was a member of the House Agriculture Committee before jumping to the Senate, served as chair of the Senate ag panel on two different occasions, and was considered by many in Washington, DC ag circles as the “trifecta of influence. He left the ag chair – but stayed on the committee – to take the reins of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee (HELP), which has jurisdiction over FDA and food safety law, and was a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, with strong influence over USDA/FDA annual funding. Harkin’s explanation for retiring was that “it’s time,” while Chambliss, also a former chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and also a former House ag committee member, made it clear his frustration with Senate gridlock and partisan infighting was the major reason he’s decided not to run again. Chambliss sits as ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.