For 150 years, futures contracts for agriculture commodities have been traded in the United States, and for 50 years this has been regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
There are a total of five CFTC commissioners, and last week President Obama announced he will nominate Sharon Bowen as one of them. Bowen is a lawyer and Acting Chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation; she also was selected as one of America's top black lawyers by Black Enterprise magazine.
However, agriculture groups hoped the President would select someone with an agriculture background, which Bowen does not have.
Bowen must still be confirmed by the Senate. No more than three commissioners at a time can be related to the same political party, and Bowen is posied to replace Bart Chilton.