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United States Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition & Forestry

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  • 113th Congress (2013-2014)

    Cochran, USDA Organize Farm Bill & Crop Insurance Listening Sessions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Department of Agriculture officials and staff with the Senate Agriculture Committee and the office of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) have scheduled two listening sessions at which agriculture producers in Mississippi can provide input and ask questions about new programs authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014. Cochran staff, U.S. Risk Management Agency Administrator Brandon Willis and Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini will be available during the li...

  • Cochran Asks USDA to Protect Rural Electric Associations from Impact of EPA Emissions Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today said the U.S. Department of Agriculture should ensure that rural electric services and investments will not be harmed by proposed federal climate change regulations on power plants. Cochran, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, has signed a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that he work with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and rural...

  • Cochran Promotes Cotton Transition Assistance Program Enrollment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, today encouraged producers with cotton base acres in Mississippi and throughout the Sunbelt to consider enrolling in an interim safety net program created for them in the 2014 farm bill. An October 7 deadline has been set for upland cotton producers to enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program (CTAP), a program to ensure they are protected as the U.S. Department of Agricult...

  • Cochran Hears Miss. Delta Views on Farm Bill Implementation

    BELZONI, Miss. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today met with agriculture and community leaders here to listen to their views and concerns regarding implementation of the 2014 farm bill, including catfish inspections and the new agricultural production safety net programs. Cochran, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he was interested in hearing first-hand how well the U.S. Department of Agriculture is rolling out the many reforms and improvements built in t...

  • Cochran: Waters of the U.S. Rule a Source of Uncertainty, Anxiety & Distrust for Rural Areas, Farmers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today continued to raise red flags about the impact on agriculture and rural economies of the new Clean Water Act regulations proposed this spring by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Accepting an invitation issued in May by Cochran and Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday met with the Senators to discuss their c...

  • Cochran Reminds New CFTC Members of Commitments to Agriculture Sector

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is reminding the newest members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of their pre-confirmation commitments to reach out to the agriculture sector. Cochran, ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has written a letter recommending steps the new CFTC members should take to lessen concerns raised during their confirmation process about their lack of experience or background in agriculture. Mississippi’s senior U.S. ...

  • Senators Still Want Answers on EPA Regs, Await McCarthy Response To Invitation

    WASHINGTON -- Amid growing concerns in rural communities about the Obama administration’s environmental policies, Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee continue to press for a meeting with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy. Two weeks ago, the Republican Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee sent a letter requesting a meeting with McCarthy to discuss a wide-ranging list of regulatory issues that have the potential to impact agriculture...

  • Senators Seek Answers on EPA Regs Affecting Agriculture, Rural Communities

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Growing concern among farmers, ranchers, rural communities and agriculture interests has led U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to seek answers on a wide assortment of environmental regulations planned by the Obama administration. All Republican members on the agriculture panel have signed a letter asking to meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss a wide-ranging li...

  • Cochran Statement on CFTC Nominees

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the committee approval for Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) nominees J. Christopher Giancarlo of New Jersey, Timothy G. Massad of Connecticut and Sharon Y. Bowen of New York.  The three nominations were cleared Tuesday by the committee and are now available for consideration by the Senate. “All th...

  • Cochran Wary of EPA Effort to Clarify Clean Water Regulations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, today questioned the intent of a proposed rule to clarify the reach of the Clean Water Act over streams and wetlands, and encouraged the agriculture and business communities to weigh in on the environmental regulatory proposal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on Tuesday released a proposed rule intended to clarify the definitions of ...

  • Cochran Statement - Hearing on Commodity Futures Trading Commission Nominations

    Opening Remarks U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) Hearing on Commodity Futures Trading Commission Nominations March 6, 2014 Madam Chairwoman, thank you for holding this hearing today.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is an important part of the regulatory framework that protects American farmers, ranchers, and businesses which depend on the work of this agency to ensure sound markets.  The Commission has the responsibility of implementing new regulations and mandates pa...

  • Cochran Statement on House Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today issued the following statement regarding the House of Representatives vote to approve the conference agreement on the Agricultural Act of 2014 (HR.2642).  The five-year farm bill was approved on a 251-166 vote on Wednesday. “I am pleased with the large, bipartisan and regionally-diverse vote in the House for the 2014 farm bill. This important legislation culminates years of work to reform and improve agriculture polic...

  • Cochran Offers Assurances on Farm Bill Progress

    Audio of Cochran Remarks:  http://1.usa.gov/1b31CLz WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today offered his thoughts on the prospects of Congress completing a new, five-year farm bill early next year. Cochran addressed work on the farm bill during remarks to the Senate following his participation in the latest Friday morning conference meeting with Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoma...

  • Cochran: Reach Farm Bill Agreement As Soon As Possible

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today asserted that a new farm bill is an opportunity for the Congress to demonstrate that lawmakers can work together on issues that affect the lives of Americans every day. Cochran, ranking member on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, on Wednesday helped begin the House-Senate conference tasked with negotiating a final agreement on a new, five-year farm bill.  The conference committee meeting opened forma...

  • U.S. Senators to USDA: Explain Loan Program Disruptions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to explain recent ill-timed decisions regarding marketing assistance loans that are creating financial uncertainty and hardships for farmers and businesses, including what will amount to a one-month delay in processing loans. Fourteen Senators, led by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, have written a letter t...

  • Cochran Ready for Farm Bill Conference Talks

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today asserted his readiness to engage in negotiations to finalize a new, five-year farm bill. Cochran welcomed a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday authorizing a conference committee with the Senate to reconcile differences in Senate- and House-passed versions of a 2013 farm bill—legislation that sets agriculture, conservation and nutri...

  • Cochran Applauds WTO Decision in Favor of U.S. Poultry Producers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today applauded a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against unfair duties levied by China on U.S. poultry exports. The WTO on Friday ruled in favor of the United States in a case filed by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) that asserted China was imposing unfair and punitive countervailing duties on U.S. broiler chickens and poultry parts.  Cochran praised the USTR action when the case was filed in September 2011 (http://1....

  • Cochran Statement on Naming of Senate Farm Bill Conferees

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today issued the following statement regarding Senate conference committee members appointed to negotiate an agreement on a 2013 farm bill with the House of Representatives: “I appreciate Republican Leader McConnell appointing conferees prior to the August recess and setting the stage for us to try to finalize a 2013 farm bill.  Reconciling dif...

  • Cochran Statement on Farm Bill Vote in the House

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, today issued the following statement regarding the House of Representatives approval of a modified, five-year farm bill: “I am pleased the House of Representatives has taken action to pass a farm bill. American farmers, ranchers, conservationists and related industries deserve the certainty of a five-year farm bill.  I look forward to working w...

  • Cochran Opening Remarks for “Smithfield and Beyond: Examining Foreign Purchases of American Food Companies” Hearing

    Opening Remarks for Senator Thad Cochran (As prepared for delivery) U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Hearing on “Smithfield and Beyond: Examining Foreign Purchases of American Food Companies” July 10, 2013 Madam Chairwoman, thank you for holding this hearing today on an important topic.  The transaction between Smithfield Foods and Shuanghui International Holdings Limited marks the largest proposed acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese comp...