Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Thursday, November 14, 2019

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Glen Smith, Board Chair and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration.

Glen Smith, Board Chair and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration.

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Duration:
09-01-2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Glen Smith, Board Chair and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration. The watchful eye of the Farm Credit Administration closely monitors the balance sheet of the Farm Credit System and its service to the nation’s farms and ranches. Iowa farmer turned FCA CEO, Smith says stable land values have provided equity farmers needed to restructure debt and maintain working capital. Smith says some of the states with the most financial concern lie in their service area of the Midwest. Farmers were able to maintain income despite lower prices last year because of larger crop production, but says that may not be the case this year. Smith says natural disasters have been extremely challenging for some operations with losses far exceeding areas covered by crop insurance and other risk management tools.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.

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11-10-2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger, D-Va. Serving in her freshman year in Washington, Spanberger has become a strong leader on voluntary farm conservation practices and the need for rural broadband. The Virginia representative says USMCA will benefit farms and businesses in the region she serves and offers her thoughts on the timing and consideration of the accord. Formerly serving in the Central Intelligence Agency, Spanberger sees the national security issues at stake in global trade negotiations and is leading the charge in developing a national 5G strategy.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

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11-03-2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Sen. Jon Tester. In this interview, the Montana Democrat shares his view of the ag economy and provides insight into legislation to assist the needs of producers facing emotional stress. He shares his view of the pending USMCA trade agreement, trade relations with China, the budget effort and the need for additional revenue toward rural health care and broadband.

National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen

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10-27-2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Donnell Rehagen CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. For months, the Trump administration has attempted to bring resolution to the controversy surrounding waivers to the Renewable Fuels Standard. Rehagen says Small Refinery Exemptions granted by the Environmental Protection Agency have wreaked havoc on biodiesel refineries and the agency’s recently announced reallocation plan will only make matters worse.

Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western Growers

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Duration:
10-20-2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tom Nassif, President and CEO of Western Growers. After nearly 20-years of service to farmers in New Mexico, Colorado, California and Arizona, Nassif is retiring in February 2020. In this interview, Nassif speaks to the need for meaningful immigration reform and the hope that Congress will address the issue yet this year. The Western Growers have made great strides in consumer outreach and implemented meaningful reform in product safety, traceability and sustainability. Nassif remains hopeful that difficult trade negotiations will yield expanded global market access for American farmers and calls for quick action to approve the USMCA.

Congressman Rodney Davis, R-Ill

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Duration:
10-13-2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Congressman Rodney Davis. The fourth term Republican reports tariffs and renewable fuel are the top two concerns among his constituents in the thirteenth district. Davis supports President Trump’s efforts to open markets and level the playing field for U.S. farmers and ranchers, but hopes for a quick conclusion in the trade war. Davis is outspoken in his call to bring the USMCA trade agreement to the House floor and says his proposed legislation on implementing the Renewable Fuels Standard and granting small refinery exemptions will work hand in hand with recent objectives announced by the White House.