Larew, the committee's minority staff director, knows what it's like to be in the majority, most notably during the debate over the 2008 farm bill. He says the minority staff's job can be easier because "it's the job of the majority to act and the minority to react."
Although he manages a staff of only 10, Larew notes that the minority staff is usually only one-third the size of the majority, and that his staff is packed with experienced veterans.
Larew, 47, grew up on a West Virginia dairy farm. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a major in dairy science, he joined the Peace Corps, becoming a livestock specialist in Tanzania, and later received a master's degree in agronomy and economics at Pennsylvania State University.
In 1994, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., hired him to handle livestock issues, and eventually promoted him to legislative director. In 2003, Larew became director of congressional and public affairs for the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
When Peterson became the Agriculture Committee's ranking Democrat in 2005, Larew returned to Capitol Hill and has worked there — for both the minority and the majority — ever since.