Smith, Virginia Dodd (1911—)

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Smith, Virginia Dodd (1911—)

American congressional representative (1975–1991). Born Virginia Dodd in Randolph, Fremont County, Iowa, on June 30, 1911; graduated from University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 1936; married a Nebraska wheat farmer.

U.S. congressional representative Virginia Dodd Smith, a Republican from Nebraska, was active in legislation and policies that served the agricultural and ranching interests of her state. Born in Iowa in 1911, Smith grew up there and graduated from Shenandoah (Iowa) High School. She attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, graduating in 1936 with a B.A. in education, married a Nebraska wheat farmer, and became active in local and regional affairs.

Smith chaired the women's bureau of the American Farm Bureau Federation from 1955 to 1974, and was active in the American Country Life Association. From 1950 to 1960, she was a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Home Economics Research Advisory Committee, and she was active in the Nebraska Republican Party, serving as a delegate to the Republican National conventions from 1956 to 1972. In 1960, Smith was appointed a delegate to the White House Conference on Children and Youth. She served on the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools Advisory Board from 1972 to 1974. In 1973, Smith served on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics. Smith won election as a representative from Nebraska to the 94th Congress in 1975, and was reelected to seven succeeding terms. She was not a candidate for reelection in 1990 and retired in 1991.

During her first congressional term, Smith served on the Education and Labor Committee, and on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. In her second term, she joined the Committee on Appropriations. She became the ranking Republican member of the Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture and Related Agencies, and worked assiduously to promote the interests of farmers and ranchers.


Office of the Historian. Women In Congress, 1917–1990. Commission on the Bicentenary of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1991.

Elizabeth Shostak , freelance writer, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Smith, Virginia Dodd (1911—)

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