December 12, 2003
Dec. 12, 2003 -- Former New Mexico Rep. Joe Skeen, died Dec. 6, 2003, from complications of Parkinson?s Disease.
Skeen spearheaded many causes for both ranchers in his home state and for those nationwide during his 22-year tenure.
?As chairman of the agriculture appropriations committee of the U.S. House, Joe Skeen led the defense of livestock protection in predator programs from efforts of animal-rights groups to eliminate the funding, not just once but six years in a row,? said American Sheep Industry Association Executive Director Peter Orwick.
?Each year, sheep ranchers would lobby dozens of Congressional offices, not always hearing what they had hoped for, and often times not being assured their issues were understood,? added Orwick. ?All the ranchers wanted to visit Joe?s office, and generally toward the end of the lobbying trip, because it would restore their faith and energy in the system. They all felt better after visiting one of their own, the Honorable Joe Skeen.
?Our heartfelt sympathies to Mary Skeen,? said Orwick.