This week’s Open Mic guest is Michael Crowder, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts. For more than 75 years, farmers and ranchers have partnered with NACD to employ soil conservation practices to preserve natural resources and improve the productivity of their land. Today, conservation is seen as a means to mitigate the impact of climate change and help farmers sustainably produce food, fiber and fuel for the nation. Crowder says NACD is pleased to see additional funds directed toward existing conservation programs that are currently underfunded. He says additional funds for technical assistance will help producers engage more land in conservation stewardship practices. NACD has developed 2023 farm bill principles that they will continue to refine as work increases toward approving a new farm bill next year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.