Open Mic Replay - An Extensive Catalog of Our Audio Interviews


Mike Brown, President of National Chicken Council
This week's guest on Open Mic is Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. With much of U.S. agriculture struggling with low commodity prices, Brown says the poultry industry is beginning an upswing with good domestic and global consumer demand. Brown is outspoken in opposition to the USDA's new GIPSA rules and expects litigation or legislation to thwart executive branch attempts to levy greater restrictions on the meat and livestock industry. Global markets represent over a fifth of domestic poultry production. Brown says the broiler industry supports Donald Trump's call for fair trade and is ready to work with the new administration to grow markets for U.S. poultry. Brown comments on the poultry industry's stake in the nation's immigration laws and looks for a resolution with the new congress and administration.

Senator John Boozman, R-Arkansas
This week's guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator John Boozman. As a member of senate committees on Appropriations, Agriculture, Budget as well as Environment and Public Works, the Arkansas Republican will be in the thick of major issues for agriculture and rural America. In this interview, Boozman discusses scaling back the Obama administration's regulatory agenda, budget reconciliation, a Trump appointment for the Supreme Court, comprehensive tax reform, the challenge of balancing the agriculture and manufacturing agendas in U.S. trade policy as well as the process of writing comprehensive food and agriculture policy.

Zippy Duvall, President AFBF
This week's guest on Open Mic is Georgia farmer Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. In this interview Duvall previews highlights of the group's 98th Convention coming January 6-11th in Phoenix, Arizona. Aside from contests, awards and keynote speakers, the AFBF's delegate session promises a thorough preview of potential policy proposals for a new farm bill. Duvall details last year's victories including biotech disclosure legislation and outlines where the fight against Obama WOTUS rules will continue this year. AFBF supports aggressive trade policy and is anxious to work with the Trump administration to maintain and grow access to global markets. Duvall also shares his thoughts on new GIPSA rules proposals from the USDA.

Bill Even, CEO, National Pork Board
This week's guest on Open Mic is Bill Even, who was selected as CEO of the National Pork Board in June. The former South Dakota Director of Agriculture discusses both growth and growing pains in the pork industry. With a fourth of U.S. production destine for export customers, Even shares hopes for global growth in the year ahead. Animal health is a priority for the pork industry and Even shares the National Pork Board's continuing efforts for disease preparedness and industry efforts to meet consumer demands for product quality and product labels.

U.S. Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts
This week's guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts. In this year-end interview the Kansas Republican discusses the USDA's recently announced GIPSA rules and the challenges he sees the language presents for packers and livestock producers. Looking at Trump's trade agenda, he's concerned about what's ahead for farm exports and renewable fuels. Roberts also shares thoughts on a new farm bill, including suggestions for those who want to separate nutrition and farm programs

Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation
This week's guest on Open Mic is Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation. In this week's interview Martin explains forest owners desire to amend federal policy to treat wildfires as natural disasters preserving funding for land conservation and stewardship programs. Martin explains how estate taxes threaten family forest owners and says amendments to corporate taxes could provide benefits as well as challenges for the nation's tree farmers. The American Forest Foundation will closely watch the appropriations process in the new congress and has program goals to include in the debate for a new farm bill.

Philip Seng, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation
This week's guest on Open Mic is Philip Seng, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. A shift in global markets has brought a rebound to U.S. red meat exports in 2016. In this week's interview, Seng talks about the year ahead for meat trade and how the protectionist rhetoric from the campaign trail is already impacting our trading partners. He also addresses the risks and potential rewards from trading with China and the strong dollar's effect on U.S. meat export sales.

Carrie Calvert, Director of Tax & Commodity Policy, Feeding America
This week's guest on Open Mic is Carrie Calvert, Director of Tax and Commodity Policy at Feeding America. The United States is said to be the best fed nation on the planet, but one in seven of its residents is considered food insecure. Calvert outlines how her organization, often in partnership with public and private programs, helps bring food to those in need. Calvert discusses potential nutrition program cuts through budget reconciliation and the important links between farm and nutrition programs in a new farm bill. She also shares more ways for farmers and concerned citizens to get involved with addressing hunger in America.

USTR Ambassador Michael Froman
This week's guest on Open Mic is Ambassador Michael Froman. The Obama administration stands ready to ratify the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, but following this month's elections, congressional leaders appear unwilling to take up the multi-lateral trade deal. In this week's interview Ambassador Froman responds to critics of the plan who see trade agreements as a scapegoat for job losses instead of a stimulus for economic growth and job creation. Froman discusses the Chinese led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and outlines trade talks this week with Chinese leaders.

Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board
This week's guest on Open Mic is Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. The renewable biodiesel industry has seen much growth in production capacity and market demand, but is still short of its 2022 goal of a tenth of domestic diesel volume. This exclusive interview reveals a need for legislative attention to tax extenders, a continued call for a shift of tax benefits from producers to blenders and a desire for predictable volume standards from the EPA for biodiesel.

Jim Farrell, CEO Farmers National Company
This week's guest on Open Mic is Jim Farrell, President and CEO of Farmers National Company. With declining commodity prices, land values, and net farm income some fear a repeat of the 1980's farm crisis. In this week's interview, Farrell discusses the similarities and differences to the last great bear market, steeper declines for land prices, the potential effects of larger enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program and the growing percentage of land controlled by investors and absentee owners

Jim Blome, President & CEO Bayer CropScience LP
This week's guest on Open Mic is Jim Blome, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP and Head of Crop Protection for the North American region. Much attention has been given to Bayer's proposed acquisition of seed giant Monsanto. In this interview, Blome shares how the company's combined individual strengths can lead to future innovation and a structure better suited to withstand global regulatory headwinds. Blome speaks to the broader view of an industry structure, including companies both large and small, focused on developing innovation farmers need to survive and sustainably provide food for a growing planet.

Ed Hamberger, Pres. American Association of Railroads
This week's guest on Open Mic is Ed Hamberger, President and CEO of the American Association of Railroads. In this week's interview Hamberger discusses the longstanding relationships between agriculture, railroads and feeding the world. But the industry is facing economic and regulatory challenges that could negatively affect the rail industry and its customers. The AAR supports expanded global trade through the Trans-Pacific Partnership and is hopeful a new Congress can bring needed change to corporate tax laws.

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.

NASDA President Mike Strain
Just after returning from a trip to Cuba, Mike Strain, Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner and President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture tells Open Mic about the need to build stronger trade with our island neighbor and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Strain identifies the need for additional disaster assistance and other changes needed in a new farm bill. He also discusses the challenges of implementing federal regulations and NASDA's desire for cooperative federalism.

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