Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Monday, April 19, 2021

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.

This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va. After gaining another term to represent her state’s 7th district, Spanberger is ready to begin work on developing agriculture’s role in combatting climate change. Spanberger says the base of a green economy should give farmers a seat at the table when discussing national issues like health care, rural broadband and developing innovative policies to sequester carbon and promote rural economic growth. She supports investment in the nation’s infrastructure and believes the Biden administration will be instrumental in repairing challenged trade relationships and developing new global marketing opportunities for farmers and ranchers.

Sally Rockey, FFAR

This week’s Open Mic guest is Dr. Sally Rockey, executive director for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. Born from the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR is tasked with finding matching funds for research in the food production system from the nation’s farms to consumer’s plates. While research is targeted in six different challenge areas, Rockey says climate and nutrition are themes that cross much of the foundation’s overall focus. Rockey says agriculture is the only industry that can actually limit the extent of climate change. FFAR intends to provide research farmers can use to make science-based decisions to increase productivity and help the environment. FFAR and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action recently announced that PepsiCo has joined the AgMission initiative to reduce greenhouse gasses in agriculture as a founding partner.

Julie Anna Potts, North American Meat Institute


This week’s Open Mic guest is Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. Few segments of the food industry were forced to adapt as quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic to meet consumer demand as members of the North American Meat Institute. Now, Potts says, the meat industry is looking forward to a new normal and embracing new challenges including a court challenge to California’s Proposition 12 ballot initiative that threatens to wreak havoc on interstate commerce of meat. Potts says resolving labor issues remains a top priority for the meat industry as well as securing the safety of their existing workers from COVID-19.

Open Mic: TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch


This week’s Open Mic guest is Corey Rosenbusch, president and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute. The United States accounts for a little over a tenth of the global nutrient market while maintaining a leading producer of agriculture products in the globe. Rosenbusch says fertilizer prices have moved higher into the U.S. planting season, but supplies are adequate to meet farmer demand for this year’s crops. Rosenbusch says TFI is keeping an eye on upcoming infrastructure legislation as well as climate policy that could influence farmer’s nutrient management plans.

Open Mic: Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.


This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and chairwoman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee, Bustos is encouraged by President Joe Biden’s commitment to agriculture, renewable fuels, climate and rural issues. The Illinois Democrat says the 117th Congress has work to do to win the support of rural voters but believes members of the Biden cabinet, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, can help to generate momentum. Bustos is hopeful diplomacy can yield better trade relations with China, Europe and Cuba and is hopeful for new opportunities with the U.K. and other developing nations of the world. Bustos says climate will be an underlying theme in nearly all policies approved in Washington this year.   

Barron Segar, World Food Program USA


This week’s Open Mic guest is Barron Segar, president and CEO of the World Food Program USA. In a week where the nation celebrates the productivity of the nation’s farms and ranches, the focus of this interview is the daunting challenge of the millions of men, women and children that are malnourished and regions where famine is a looming threat. The United Nations World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to feed the hungry. While donations, government support and corporate partnerships have grown- human conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change continue to challenge millions each day.