Open Mic Replay - An Extensive Catalog of Our Audio Interviews


Jon Scholl
This week's guest on Agri-Pulse Open Mic is Jon Scholl, President of the American Farmland Trust, the nation's leading farmland conservation organization. Previously, he served as Counselor to the Administrator for Agricultural Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and talks about his experiences connecting farmers to consumers and the importance of being good stewards of the land, especially in critical watersheds like the Cheseapeake Bay. Scholl gives his perspective on the conservation title in the 2012 farm bill and potential cuts in conservation programs to pay for livestock disaster aid. Although the rate of farmland conversion to development has slowed, Scholl says more focus should be given to protecing what he calls "America's greatest natural resource."

Joe Jobe
Joe Jobe, the Chief Executive Officer for the National Biodiesel Board joins us on Agri-Pulse Open Mic to discuss the current state of his industry and the important roles that the biodiesel tax credit and the Renewable Fuels Standard play in supporting biodiesel production in the U.S. Jobe, who grew up on a farm in central Missouri, also explains how biodiesel, which is the only advanced biofuel in commercial production, is very diverse in terms of technology and feedstock sources and represents an important path forward for anyone interested in energy independence.

Representative Steve King
Steve King, a five-term U.S. Representative from western Iowa, joins us on Agri-Pulse Open Mic to talk about how the House plans to consider livestock disaster assistance and a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill this week. The fourth-ranking Republican on the House AgricultureCommittee talks about his efforts to prevent states from imposing trade barriers on livestock production methods against other states. King, a small business owner who says he has probably built more terraces than any other member of Congress, also talks about conservation and shares the importance of keeping the RFS in place, while preserving the delicate balance between corn, soybean and livestock production. King is facing a tough reelection race in the Fourth District against Christie Vilsack, a well-funded political newcomer and the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Karl Brooks
Karl Brooks has worked as a lawyer, Idaho state senator, University of Kansas professor, environmental author and most recently was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) Region 7, based in Kansas City. In this weeks Agri-Pulse Open Mic, he talks about the controversial topic of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) flyovers of confined animal feeding operations, where small airplanes are used to check for potential violations of the clean water act. Its a practice dating back to when a Republican president first created the EPA. Brooks also talks about his willingness to listen to the agricultural community and how producers investments in new technology have helped improve environmental quality.

Dr. Joe Glauber
USDA's Chief Economist Dr. Joe Glauber joins us this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic to discuss the drought that's dramatically cutting yields across the Midwest and how high participation in the crop insurance program in that region will protect many farmers from a total financial loss. Glauber, who oversees the World Agricultural Outlook Board, also talks about recent changes in the USDA's supply and demand reports, the potential implications of farm program changes included in the Senate and House Ag Committee versions of the 2012 farm bill, and export opportunities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

Steve Griffin
This week's guest is Steve Griffin. Griffin is president of CVision Corporation. He holds degrees from Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University in agricultural economics and has over twenty five years of experience in public and private service. He has developed startup companies and created historic firsts in the federal crop insurance program. Griffin specializes in crop risk management and insurance product development with pricing and reinsurance as a part of that enterprise. Griffin is an educator in agricultural economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and quantitative business decision-making. He teaches at two universities in the Des Moines, Iowa area.

Jay Vroom, President of CropLife America
With the world's population expected to grow to nearly nine billion by 2050, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that global food production must double by that time. Our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic, Jay Vroom, talks about the important role that science-based, modern farming practices, which use fewer inputs while leading to increased productivity, can play in feeding a growing, hungry world. As President and CEO of CropLife America, he also talks about challenges the industry is facing with herbicide and weed resistance and why he has invited some of the industrys biggest critics to annual dialogues with his members. And with the presidential election less than five months away, Vroom talks about the importance of the rural vote

Representative Glenn Thompson
Rep. Glenn Thompson, who represents Pennsylvania's most rural district, also chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry. In this weeks' Agri-Pulse Open Mic, the GOP Congressman talks about the 2012 farm bill that's expected to move forward in the House Agriculture Committee on July 11 and how he hopes to strengthen voluntary, conservation programs in what will be his first farm bill. Thompson, who describes farmers as "the original environmentalists" also calls for a smaller, leaner and more effective Environmental Protection Agency, which he describes as currently "out of control. "

Chuck Conner, CEO of NCFC
With 2012 designated as the International Year of Cooperatives, Chuck Conner, CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives has been busy sharing the benefits of farmer-owned cooperatives. In this weeks Open Mic, taped June 1, he also talks about the need to resolve regional differences in the 2012 farm bill writing process. Conner brings a unique perspective to this issue. For nearly 20 years, he served on the staff of Senator Richard Lugar and was the staff director of the Senate Agriculture Committee during the 1996 farm bill process. Prior to joining NCFC from 2005-2008, he was Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at USDA and helped lead development of President George W. Bush Administrations Farm Bill proposal. He also talks about Sen. Lugar's stunning defeat in the Indiana GOP primary and Gov. Romneys presidential campaign.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Six years ago, Amy Klobuchar became the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate. Today, the former chief prosecutor in the states largest county joins us on Agri-Pulse Open Mic. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she talks about the vote last week to advance the 2012 farm bill and her expectations for amendments on crop insurance and other issues. She also points to the importance of getting a farm bill passed this year in order to keep the rural economy strong and her perspective on future trade agreements.

Sen. John Boozman
Our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic is Arkansas Senator John Boozman, a freshman member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, who voted against passage of the 2012 Farm Bill in committee. He talks about ongoing negotiations in the U.S. Senate and his expectations for a southern farm safety net that offers more flexibility for growers of all types. The former cattle rancher also shares his concerns over food stamps, crop insurance and other aspects of the farm bill, as well as his frustrations over U.S. energy policy.

Sec. Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic. Broadcaster Ken Root sat down with Vilsack to discuss his approach to on-farm regulatory issues and efforts to improve water quality, including the potential for ecosystem markets. He talks about the 2012 Farm Bill and differences between the House and Senate version and details the Obama Administrations views on trimming crop insurance subsidies. While the farm economy is currently booming, the former Iowa Governor describes his biggest fear for the future.

Mike Johanns
Mike Johanns is an Iowa farm boy who headed west to Nebraska to serve as governor before heading east to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in the GW Bush administration before heading back to win an open U.S. Senate seat almost four years ago. He spoke about the politics of the pending farm bill and the challenges caused by geographical conflict. He also talked about the changing landscape for revered Republicans who are losing out to more conservative opponents and the surprising victory of a Nebraska Sandhills legislator who is now the Republican candidate for Nebraska's other seat in the U.S. Senate. Johanns heads up the "Aggies for Romney" campaign and was asked if he would accept the vice presidential slot with Governor Romney on the 2012 Repubican Ticket.

Bill Northey
Bill Northey is a fourth generation farmer from Spirit Lake, Iowa who serves as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and also as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Taking a break from planting, he explains NASDA's perspective on the 2012 Farm Bill and discusses future challenges ahead with conservation and water quality. He also talks about the impact that social media and other communication tools has had on lean finely textured beef, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, and new varieties of biotech seed corn.

House Ag Committee Chairman 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.

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