Belgrade, Montana – Today, former Senator and Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Max Baucus released the following statement on the passing of his former Senate colleague and Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Richard Lugar.

“Dick Lugar leaves behind an unmatched legacy of bipartisan achievement on everything from nuclear nonproliferation to food and agriculture policy. I was proud to call him a friend and partner in the Senate for over three decades and equally proud to partner with him after the Senate to work on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural families.

“A lot will be said in the coming days about Dick’s ability to reach across the aisle to find common solutions to many of the most pressing problems facing the nation and the world. For me, Dick’s ability to work across the aisle came down to two things: his unparalleled understanding of policy and his pure decency. Partnering with Dick not only meant you got the wisdom of a Rhodes Scholar, you also got someone you could trust had only the well-being of every American in mind.

“Working with Dick over the last few years on Farmers for Free Trade has been a gift that’s only reinforced his dedication to the people of Indiana and rural America. At a time when trade policies that keep many farmers afloat have come under fire, Dick stood up with me to ensure their voices are being heard. It was a typically brave stance from a man who has always been guided less by politics than by doing what was right for his constituents.

“Mel and I pass on our thoughts and prayers to Dick’s wife Charlene and their family. We also join with the people of Indiana and the nation in conveying our profound respect for one of the great Senators of our generation.”