Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Sunday, September 25, 2022

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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NSP CEO Tim Lust

Duration: 24:15

This week’s Open Mic guest is Tim Lust, CEO of the National Sorghum Producers. The race for acres is on in the U.S., and sorghum has a number of positives for growers to consider. Lust says export demand is promising while food and fuel uses for the crop continue to expand. Lust sees a role for the USDA in carbon markets and says his commodity group has a very strong climate story to bring to the debate. Sorghum growers are anxious to discuss new farm policy and have clear goals for the new policy.


Cathy Burns, IFPA

Duration: 25:19

This week’s Open Mic guest is Cathy Burns, CEO of the International Fresh Produce Association. The group — formed earlier this year by a merger of the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association — is preparing for the upcoming White House meeting on hunger and nutrition as well as its own gathering in the nation's capital, where Burns says the group’s focus is the ongoing nutritional challenges in the nation and the world. IFPA is watching closely the development of the 2023 farm bill with a special interest in research as well as nutrition programs. Labor remains a top priority for IFPA members, and Burns is hopeful Congress can still address the issue this year.


G.W. Fuhr, Syngenta

Duration: 23:13

This week’s Open Mic guest is G.W. Fuhr, Head of branded sales and biofuels for Syngenta. On the sidelines of the 2022 Farm Progress Show, Fuhr discussed the revolution of technology farmers utilize today to accomplish productivity and sustainability goals. Fuhr outlines the company’s expanded role in seed selection and revenue protection. He says Washington’s regulatory hurdles are a challenge for farmers who need crop protection chemistry and companies that want to bring new products to market.


House Ag Ranking Member Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa.

Duration: 24:21

This week’s Open Mic guest is House Ag Ranking Member Glenn “GT” Thompson. At last week's Farm Progress Show, Thompson offered thoughts on crafting a 2023 farm bill including an opportunity to chair the committee if the GOP wins a majority in the November midterms. The Pennsylvania 15th district representative is determined to see the committee do the work to write new farm policy with full committee hearings in Washington and across the country. Thompson favors investigating a shift to margin coverage for commodity programs and supports programs for small and beginning farmers as well as ag businesses. Thompson is critical of a “politically motivated” EPA and favors renewable liquid fuels over mandates for electric vehicles.


Donnell Rehagen, Clean Fuels Alliance America

Duration: 25:07

This week’s Open Mic guest is Donnell Rehagen, president and CEO of Clean Fuels Alliance America, formerly known as the National Biodiesel Board. A name change at the beginning of the year offered a better reflection of an industry group dedicated to renewable energy for the nation. Rehagen says corporate America’s shift in priorities to climate-friendly practices is leading to exponential growth opportunities for renewable diesel fuel for ground transportation, the airline industry and home heating. He says the Inflation Reduction Act secured renewable tax credits for the next two years and will help the industry ramp up to meet an expected two billion gallons of demand for renewable diesel. Rehagen believes the nation’s energy needs should be met by an “all of the above” list of products and sees growth opportunities despite a push toward hydrogen and electric vehicles.

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Julie Anna Potts, North American Meat Institute

Duration: 24:19

This week’s Open Mic guest is Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. The nation’s meat industry continues to weather disruptions from the Covid pandemic as well as the obstacles of a short labor supply and other supply chain issues.  Potts acknowledges concerns about price disparity in the beef industry, but points to analysts who suggest the reaction was typical given market circumstances.  Ahead, feed availability and price exacerbated by severe drought may create further challenges for producers and processors alike. NAMI anxiously awaits the Supreme Court’s attention to California’s Proposition 12 and is eager to help feed hungry families across the nation with food donations.