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. Senator challenged the commissioners to “make hearing and addressing the concerns of agricultural market participants and end users an immediate priority.”

“There are many well-documented problems created by CFTC rules that the agricultural and end user communities face.  I look to you to work to find solutions to these concerns.  Farmers and ranchers in Mississippi and throughout the country depend on the markets you regulate to carry on their businesses and they deserve careful consideration and attention,” Cochran wrote in a letter to CFTC Chairman Timothy G. Massad and Commissioners Sharon Bowen and Christopher Giancarlo.

Massad, Bowen and Giancarlo were confirmed June 3, giving the CFTC a full complement of commissioners.  During their confirmation hearing, bipartisan concerns were raised about the importance of agriculture expertise at the Commission.

“As you take on your new responsibilities, I ask each of you to recall the conversations we had in my office as well as the bipartisan chorus of concern for the unique and critical issues that face the agriculture sector that my Senate Agriculture Committee colleagues and I expressed in your nomination hearing. You each committed to having an open door and open ear to the agricultural community and now I ask that you take steps to demonstrate that commitment,” Cochran wrote.

A copy of the letter is available here: