8:50 PM EDT
Jerry Moran, R-KS 1st

Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me. I am delighted to be here. It is an honor to have served in this Congress these last 7 years with the gentleman from the 19th District of Texas (Mr. Combest).

Mr. Speaker, when I came to Congress I knew it was important to me to be associated with people who understood and cared about agriculture and who cared about farmers and ranchers of America; and it was my honor to become acquainted with Chairman Combest. He has been a role model and mentor for me since that time of my arrival 7 years ago.

Those of us who represent agriculture in the House of Representatives are a minority. There are not enough of us, and what it takes is people who go beyond their numbers, who more than 1 out of 435 can make a difference. And the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Combest) has done that. He has done that because he is knowledgable and understands the issues. It is in his blood. That is where he comes from. It is who he is. Agriculture, farming and ranching is LARRY COMBEST.

It is because he is a leader, because he cares about using that information [Page: H4231]

and knowledge on behalf of those engaged in everyday activities trying to earn a living on the farms and ranches of America.

His leadership in the Committee on Agriculture is extraordinary. It is just something that we have relied upon. As we have worked our way through a farm bill in this last Congress, it is clear to me that because of his leadership things happened. He has a commitment to what he believes in, and he believes in farmers and ranchers of America. He wants to see our family farms survive and prosper. He wants that way of life to continue. He has a commitment to serving his constituents and helping American

agriculture be here today and tomorrow.

And, perhaps most importantly, he has integrity. I have never known anyone who I could trust more than Larry Combest. His word can be taken for what it was, his word. What he said is what he meant. His advice was honestly given. I have never known him to mislead anyone. And it was that character and that integrity that made it possible for us to do things in agriculture on this House floor because people trusted him, they respected him, and they honored what he was about.

As he returns home to Texas, it is with some sadness that we see my friend Larry Combest leave. We all invest in other people in this place. Oftentimes I suppose we spend too much time worrying about things that are not so important. But the thing that is important is the relationships, friendships, and understandings that we have with other Members of Congress; and I consider it a high honor to have been associated with Larry Combest during his term as a Member of Congress.

His relationships with other Members of the House will not end with his departure. His friendship with President Bush has really been beneficial to those of us who care about rural America, and we look forward to his continued involvement in issues that matter to us and to farmers and ranchers across the country.

Public service is something that we all talk about, something that we engage in as Members of Congress, but we all have a lot to learn from Larry Combest who exemplifies the role of a true public servant, who did

what he thought was right, who fought the fight and made a difference on behalf of the people of Texas and on behalf of the people of America.

Mr. Speaker, I wish LARRY and Sharon the absolute best in their future years. I thank them both for their friendship. I honor and respect them, and I hope the fish bite. Thank you, LARRY.