WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2015 – Rep. Mike Conaway met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the first time as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee late last week, a meeting that Conaway spokesman Ted Monoson described as a “get to know each other” session.

Conaway, a Texas Republican, and Vilsack, a former Democratic governor of Iowa, met for more than an hour at Vilsack’s office in the U.S. Department of Agriculture building on the National Mall late on Friday afternoon, Monoson said, discussing issues the two men will be dealing with during the 114th Congress.

“The secretary showed the chairman around his office and the USDA building and introduced him to some of his staff,” Monoson said. “They had a nice, friendly talk.”

Cullen Schwarz, a USDA spokesman, said it was a “very productive meeting on a wide range of issues,” without being more specific. He said Vilsack is looking forward to working with Conaway and the Agriculture Committee’s ranking member, Collin Peterson, D-Minn., “to find bipartisan ways to help strengthen America’s agriculture economy.

“Agriculture proved a bright spot of bipartisan collaboration in the last session of Congress,” Schwarz said. “After today’s meeting, Secretary Vilsack is even more convinced that the same will be true in the upcoming session.”

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