Open Mic Replay - An Extensive Catalog of Our Audio Interviews


MIke Conaway
In this week's edition of Open Mic, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway discusses what promises to be a frantic start to December as the U.S. Congress faces a deadline to approve omnibus appropriations legislation. Chairman Conaway is intent to see protection from budget cuts for the farm bill and crop insurance. In this interview, Conaway calls for administrative changes in the farm bill to help cotton farmers, discusses how the threat of trade retaliation from COOL is already affecting commerce with Canada, and the committee's work to review the nation's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Our guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. In this week's interview the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee discusses a challenging agricultural agenda. With time running out on the congressional calendar, Stabenow feels an urgency to find compromise on GMO labeling and COOL trade laws. Stabenow discusses a potential compromise on child nutrition reform and defines the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal as a complicated proposal with benefits for agriculture but challenges for industry. Stabenow also lists legislation that could be included in an omnibus appropriations bill next month.

Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS
Our guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan. In this week's interview, the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee discusses further action on the EPA's Waters of the U.S. definition and says his committee is close to a compromise on a child nutrition bill. Roberts expects further attacks on the crop insurance industry and says he and other congressional farm state leaders are ready to defend farmers' top policy priorities. Roberts says with the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership now public, he and other leaders can begin to evaluate and debate what the proposed deal would mean to agriculture and the nation.

Senator Joni Ernst
From her family's Iowa farm to the troubled lands of the Middle East, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has dedicated her life to the nation's security: for ample food and against foes. In this week's Open Mic Interview U.S. Senator Joni Ernst shares her thoughts on proposed legislative action to block the EPA's new clean water rules, the economic significance of the agency's RFS volume obligation announcement, long term funding for the Highway Trust Fund and why Washington should address GMO food labeling.

Senator Kent Conrad
This week's guest on Open Mic is former US Senator Kent Conrad. As a former Chair of the Senate Budget Committee the North Dakota Democrat is well versed on the country's challenging fiscal policy. In this week's interview Senator Conrad discusses the appropriations deadline, the debate over the debt ceiling, the advantages to a two-year budget and secure long term funding for the country's transportation infrastructure. Conrad says the American people should ignore some voices in the Congress,

Senator Roy Blunt - Missouri
This week's guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. The Missouri Republican believes the nation is on the cusp of major decisions that could wreak havoc or provide great opportunities for growth for the nation's economy. In this week's interview, Blunt discusses Congressional challenges including uncertainty in the House Speakers post, obstacles to an agreement on spending, long term funding options for highway infrastructure and the outlook for Senate action on GMO labeling and Country of Origin Labeling.

Rep. Reid Ribble
This week's guest on Open Mic is Wisconsin Representative Reid Ribble. The 8th district Republican left the Freedom Caucus last week in the fallout from a failed attempt to elect a new House Speaker. In this week's interview, Ribble outlines challenges the Congress faces in approving a spending plan and his efforts to bring about a two-year budget cycle. He sees action soon on the nation's debt ceiling and tax extenders but says the bigger issue lies between liberal Senate Democrats and conservative GOP leaders on spending. Ribble strongly opposes the EPA's new clean water rules but supports a new voluntary program to reduce nutrient runoff in his home state.

Dr. Jayson Lusk Oklahoma State Univ.
This week's Open Mic features Oklahoma State University's Dr. Jayson Lusk who has conducted extensive research on consumer attitudes toward food safety and acceptance of new technologies. Proposed labeling legislation over foods that contain ingredients from GMO crops has proven to be a polar issue that may see attention in the US Senate. In this interview, Dr. Lusk discusses the consumer cost of mandatory food labels, the social and economic implications on agriculture research and technologies and the retailers reaction to consumer food buying trends.

Wade Cowan, President American Soybean Assn.
This week's guest on Open Mic is Texas farmer Wade Cowan, President of the American Soybean Association. In this interview you'll hear a farmers perspective on global trading relationships, the threat of a government shutdown and biotech labeling legislation. Cowan spent time with the Chinese officials last week in New Orleans and is optimistic for more productive discussions between the two countries. Cowan previews his testimony on food aid before the House Agriculture Committee this week. He is intently interested in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership talks this week in Atlanta and shares his view on a successful conclusion to the negotiations.

Dan Knutson
An upcoming merger of two major agriculture businesses will not only boost competitiveness for some of the country's independent retailers but also join resources to bring new technologies in crop protection, nutrient management, and sustainable agriculture for farmers. In this week's Open Mic Dan Knutson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Land O' Lakes explains how the two-step merger of United Suppliers with Land O' Lakes' Winfield business is a merger of equals combining the technology and resources of both companies to grow farm productivity despite lower returns and a maze of regulatory hurdles, like WOTUS.

Dr. J.B. Penn, Chief Economist Deere and Co.
This week's Open Mic Guest is Dr. J.B. Penn, Chief Economist for Deere and Company. A golden era in U.S. agriculture appears to have passed. In this interview you'll hear Dr. Penn's thoughts on a new economic normal for U.S. agriculture, including his perspective on renewable fuels, and insight into a pending domestic interest rate increase. Dr. Penn discusses the challenge Chinese authorities face in managing a slowing instead of a growing economy and how their success or failure affects U.S. agriculture.

Dr. Robb Fraley, Monsanto
This week's Open Mic guest is Monsanto's Dr. Robb Fraley. Disappointed with the failed acquisition of Syngenta, Dr. Fraley discusses reasons for the pursuit of the global chemical giant and his company's plans toward the future. While some consumers oppose genetically modified crops, Fraley gives reasons to pursue next generation innovation in chemistry, biologics, and genetics to achieve growth in the world food supply.

Frank Gasperini, CEO for the National Council for Agricultural Employers
This week's Open Mic features Frank Gasperini, CEO for the National Council for Agricultural Employers. In this interview you will hear the frustration labor intensive agriculture faces each year in finding an adequate hourly workforce to harvest crops and care for livestock and how a coalition has grown challenging Congress to take action. Gasperini defines how some proposals for immigration reform could decimate some facets of the ag industry and threaten our nation's food security.

Robert Johanson, USDA Chief Economist
Our guest on Open Mic this week is USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson. In this wide-ranging interview, you'll hear his perspective on any relationship between the drop in equity markets and commodity prices, thoughts on China, Brazil and other countries lowering their currency values, and the implications of the EPA's upcoming decision on RFS volume standards for US farm income.

Jeff Broin
At 22, Jeff Broin managed a small South Dakota ethanol plant. Today POET is the world's largest producer of renewable fuels. In this interview, Jeff Broin shares the direct and indirect benefits of the Renewable Fuels Standard and warns of the domestic and global implications if Washington steps back from its commitment to renewable fuels. Broin says the future of the domestic renewable fuels industry hinges on the EPA's volume standard announcement later this year.

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