Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has been selected ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He was nominated for the post by the outgoing ranking member, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts.

Cochran, who had reached his time limit as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:

“I am pleased the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee have entrusted me with the opportunity to be their Ranking Republican Member. I will use the experiences I've gained in serving on the committee since 1979 to help quickly advance a new farm bill that will meet the needs of our country’s farmers, small businesses and those who rely on the nutrition programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. I look forward to working with Chairman Stabenow and members of the committee in this new Congress, and I thank Senator Roberts for his dedicated service as the ranking member during the 112th Congress.”

Cochran joined the Senate Agriculture Committee after being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. He has previously served as committee chairman from 2003 to 2005.

Cochran will also continue to serve on the Senate Committee on Rules, as well as the Committee on Appropriations where he is expected to remain the ranking member on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.