Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus Tuesday announced he would not seek reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2014.
The senator, known for firm stances on agricultural policy, says he will use the next year and a half to support watershed projects in his home state of Montana, as well as "passing a strong Farm Bill."
"Serving the people of Montana has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life. Over the past 35 years I have been lucky to go from working for just under 800,000 of the world's best bosses to more than a million - and I am grateful to each and every one of them for the opportunity they have given me," Baucus said in a released statement.
The six-term senator noted that he will go "full steam ahead" to move on issues like taxes, economic development and health care before his time expires.
"Our country and our state face enormous challenges – rising debt, a dysfunctional tax code, threats to our outdoor heritage, and the need for more good-paying jobs," he said.
Baucus was among a group of senators pushing for disaster assistance following the 2012 drought, agricultural export legislation and trade policies and a new, five-year farm bill.
Additionally, the senator called for renewal of the highway bill. He is a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a supporter of country-of-origin labeling.
He also serves on the subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant and Animal Health, the subcommittee on Production and Income Protection and Price Support and the subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms.
Baucus will make a formal public announcement Friday in Helena, Mont.