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Senate ag committee members meet to discuss new working group

WASHINGTON -- Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other senators met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson March 8 to form a...

WASHINGTON -- Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other senators met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson March 8 to form a working group on regulations.

Neither Stabenow nor Roberts, who had promised to form the group, were willing to reveal the content of the discussion, but Stabenow said the meeting was an opportunity for senators to share concerns about regulations on America's farmers, ranchers and foresters.

'Common ground'

"This discussion that is being established by the committee will continue through a working group to find common ground on these issues," Stabenow said in a statement. "In the end, we all share the same goal of strengthening our economy, protecting our food supply, land and water, and empowering our nation's farmers."

Roberts said through a spokeswoman that a number of members of the agriculture committee attended and had a "good, frank discussion" on agriculture regulatory issues.

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Vilsack told Agweek that the meeting had been "very constructive . . . a meeting of the minds on what EPA is proposing and not proposing and (an oppor-

tunity for) a lot of misunderstanding to be cleared up."

Vilsack said that he particularly appreciated Roberts' participation.

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