Sen. Cochran (R-Miss.) will replace Sen. Roberts (R-Kan.) as ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee in the 113th Congress.

Sen. Cochran served as the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee in the last Congress but under Republican caucus rules he was term limited in that position, which will be taken by Sen. Shelby (R-Ala.). Sen. Cochran was elected to the Senate in 1978 and has served as chairman of its appropriations and agriculture committees.

"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," Cochran said in a statement.

Roberts said, "Seniority is a well-respected and historic privilege in the U.S. Senate. Senator Cochran has my full support, and I will move his nomination when I bring the committee together for a vote later today."

Roberts now will take over as ranking member on the Senate Rules Committee. Sen. Alexander (R-Tenn.) held that position in the last Congress.

Senate Republicans announced their Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee assignments for the 113th Congress: Roberts (Kan.), Cochran (Miss.), McConnell (Ky.), Chambliss (Ga.), Boozman (Ark.), Hoeven (N.D.), Johanns (Neb.), Grassley (Iowa) and Thune (S.D.).

The Democratic Steering Committee previously had approved Agriculture Committee assignments for the 113th Congress: Leahy (Vt.), Harkin (Iowa), Baucus (Mont.), Stabenow (Mich.), Brown (Ohio), Casey (Pa.), Klobuchar (Minn.), Bennet (Colo.), Gillibrand (N.Y.), Donnelly (Ind.) and Heitkamp (N.D.). Sen. Stabenow (Mich.) is expected to continue to serve as chairwoman of the Committee.

Senate Republicans also announced Appropriations Committee assignments for the 113th Congress, including new members—Johanns (Neb.) and Boozman (Ark.). Republican Senators assigned to the committee, in addition to Johanns and Boozman, are: Cochran (Miss.), McConnell (Ky.), Shelby (Ala.), Alexander (Tenn.), Collins (Maine), Murkowski (Alaska), Graham (S.C.), Kirk (Ill.), Coats (Ind.), Blunt (Mo.), Moran (Kan.) and Hoeven (N.D.).

Democrats previously had announced their Appropriations Committee assignments: Leahy (Vt.), Harkin (Iowa), Mikulski (Md.), Murray (Wash.), Feinstein (Calif.), Durbin (Ill.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Reed (R.I.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Pryor (Ark.), Tester (Mont.), Udall (N.M.), Shaheen (N.H.) and Merkley (Ore.). Sen. Mikulski (D-Md.) became chairwoman following Sen. Inouye’s (D-Hawaii) death in December.