This week’s Open Mic guest is Steve Reinhard, chairman of the United Soybean Board. The Ohio farmer leads the 77-member group that determines where checkoff dollars will be utilized to grow the industry and create opportunities for soybean farmers. Reinhard sees a paradigm shift in demand for soybean oil which should lead to increased domestic crush and more competitive meal prices for exports and the domestic livestock sector. While functioning in the shadow of Brazilian soybean production and export volume, Reinhard says the U.S. commitment to sustainability and overall product quality will keep it viable globally. Reinhard says soy biodiesel and sustainable aviation fuel hold tremendous opportunities for the soybean industry.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Lori Taylor, founder and CEO of The Produce Moms. While working as a sales marketing professional in the produce industry, Taylor recognized the need of Millennial moms and others for a reliable and comprehensive online destination for facts and information to meet the challenge of improving diets with fruits and vegetables. The “community” as she describes the site provides nutritional information on fruits and vegetables, offers recipes and even brand name information. Taylor strongly supports the nation’s nutrition programs and believes in the partnership of medicine and food for better health.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Tom Buis, CEO of the American Carbon Alliance. Buis has a long history of service to the agriculture industry. He’s been a farmer, worked in Congress, served a farm organization and the renewable fuel industry. He’s emerged from retirement to promote the renewable fuel industry’s need to lower its carbon score with pipelines. Buis says the nation needs multiple sources of energy and should allow ethanol producers to capture carbon and safely store it in qualified geological areas of the nation. Buis sees tremendous opportunity for farmers and rural America if ethanol can be a feedstock for Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Without an improved carbon credit score, Buis says farmers, the environment and the economy will suffer.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board. Metz says producers have met and exceeded retail demand for “cage-free” eggs but are anxious to learn what demand issues may be revealed for future production. Metz says the egg industry is closely watching discussion from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as they prepare to offer recommendations next year and FDA efforts to define healthy foods and set parameters on front of package labeling.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla. On the sidelines of last week’s American Farm Bureau convention in Salt Lake City, Lucas lamented the political headwinds of writing new farm and food policy. Lucas said the nation’s spending plan is most challenging and provides inadequate resources for the hungry and producers facing a challenging economic climate. Lucas says more funds are needed and believes reallocating previously approved dollars is the best financial solution. Without those resources, Lucas would favor another extension of the 2018 farm bill to give more time for Congress to allocate resources. Lucas is keen on a pending SCOTUS decision on regulatory deference and wants an “all of the above” approach to the nation’s energy policy.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. While legislators have agreed on a new short-term spending plan to avoid a shutdown, final work on the nation’s purse strings for FY24 remains in the balance. Hoeven believes there’s still time to approve a new farm bill this year, but says there needs to be more “farm in the farm bill,” saying the farm safety net should share in spending increases being proposed for nutrition. Hoeven believes conservation funds approved in the Inflation Reduction Act should be used to upgrade the farm safety net and is cautious of using CCC funds to support reference prices.