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Cochran Ready for Farm Bill Conference Talks

Mississippi Senator Says Final 2013 Farm Bill Agreement Important to Rural America, U.S. Economy

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 nutrition assistance policies for the country.  The voice vote established a yet-to-be-named House delegation of 17 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

“The table will be for us to work on a long-term farm bill that is equitable to all producers in all regions of the country.  The task before us is urgent.  I am ready and optimistic about working with our House counterparts to resolve significant differences and put in place policies that work well for the agriculture industry, American consumers and the economy,” Cochran said.

“Our farmers and ranchers, and the small businesses that depend on the rural economy, need the certainty that we can provide by finishing the 2013 farm bill,” he said.

Cochran will join Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in leading the Senate conference delegation that includes seven Democrat and five Republican Senators (  

A short-term extension of 2008 farm bill policies expired Sept. 30, creating the need for conferees to work toward finalizing a new farm bill before the end of the year.