June 6, 2019

Statement on the Passing of Senator Cochran

The Global Food and Agriculture Program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is saddened by the passing of former-Senator Thad Cochran, a champion of domestic and international agriculture. Senator Cochran died on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at the age of 81. 
Senator Cochran was a Senator from Mississippi from 1978 to 2018, a service of 40 years.  He served as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee from 2003 until 2005 and Ranking Member of the Committee from 2013 to 2015. He was also Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee twice. 
In addition to a number of areas of leadership, Senator Cochran will always be known as the creator of the Cochran Fellowship Program, a highly successful program that encourages training opportunities for agricultural professionals from academia, government, and the private sector in low- and middle-income countries that helps to strengthen trade linkages and agricultural interests between their home country and the United States. Since Senator Cochran created the Fellowship program in 1984, more than 18,000 agriculture professionals from 126 countries have participated and several have gone on to senior-level positions in their own governments. One Chicago Council report characterized the impact of the Cochran Fellowship in this way: “A significant number of agricultural ministers around the globe have been educated in the United States. This has garnered the US unmeasurable goodwill and influence.”


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

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WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


| By Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet.