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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp - 2/28/2016

This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who shares make or break provisions of the GMO labeling bill scheduled for consideration this week. The North Dakota Democrat sees the food labeling debate as another opportunity to consider a voluntary Country-of-Origin Labeling program for meat. She also talks about currency manipulation and expanded trade opportunities for farmers and ranchers. Heitkamp favors expanded trade with Cuba and has introduced legislation to allow private financing for commodities. She’s concerned about attacks to current farm programs and has begun policy discussions on the next farm bill, with a focus on research and rural development.

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Bill Buckner, Pres. Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Bill Buckner, Pres. Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

This week's guest on Open Mic is Bill Buckner, President and CEO of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and Board Chair for the National Soil Health Institute. In this interview, Buckner outlines a national effort to develop a standardized condition rating and testing for soil health. A standardized numeric value could help producers embrace agronomic practices, technology and cropping systems which could eventually be tied to risk protection plans and crop insurance as well as the overall value of farmland. With a common goal of advancing agriculture Buckner says the National Soil Health Institute is leading a chorus of farmers, scientists, farmers and industry toward better soil health and a stronger agriculture industry.

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