This week’s Open Mic guest is Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union. Several hundred farmers and ranchers from across the nation were in Washington last week to hear updates from the USDA and Congressional leaders. Larew says farmer attitudes are as varied as weather conditions across the country. Larew says Congress can’t simply rubber stamp the 2018 farm bill and expect to meet the needs of crop and livestock producers in today’s economic environment nor can they expect outdated programs and triggers to protect producers through what promises to be continued volatility in the years ahead. NFU members want to see changes in cattle price discovery and are adamant about seeing changes in beef labeling.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Ted McKinney, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Fresh off of the group’s annual meeting earlier this month in Wyoming, state ag leaders, along with the rest of the ag community are keeping an eye on Washington for signs of a path forward for a Fiscal Year 2024 budget and signs of life for a new farm bill. McKinney discusses both sides of a continuing resolution to keep the government running, frustrations with the Biden EPA over its development of a new definition of WOTUS, California’s Proposition 12, and the Biden Administration’s efforts on global trade.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Jackie Applegate, president of Bayer Crop Science North America. On the sidelines of the recent Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, Applegate discussed many of the company's latest efforts, including a collaboration to help fight hunger, the latest innovations from Bayer, new partnerships with other companies, ongoing challenges from regulations in the U.S. and pushback from technologies by other nations of the world. Applegate shares the need for public and private research to develop production techniques to achieve sustainability goals as well as increases in productivity.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill. On the sidelines of the 70th Annual Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, the House Ag Republican discussed the congressional agenda leading to the end of the fiscal year. Bost says the farm bill is critical to his district, and after spending time with House Ag Chair Glenn "G.T." Thompson, Bost believes new policy will be introduced soon after legislators return this month. In this interview, Bost discusses the nation’s infrastructure, broadband, electrical grid, renewable fuels and rural healthcare.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Tim Trotter, CEO of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative. It’s a perfect storm of policymaking as USDA has begun hearings to explore Federal Milk Marketing Order reforms and Congress is working to write a new farm bill. Dairy industry diversity is a blessing — representing various regions, size of operations and end uses for milk — but also marks significant challenges when considering producer supports and reform of marketing policy. Edge represents more than 800 members who ship primarily to private processors. Trotter says it will take a delicate balance to find the right solutions for both farmers and industry.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Adam Putnam, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. In this interview, Putnam outlines the headwinds facing the approval of a new farm bill and how important the language remains for the food and conservation needs of the nation. Ducks Unlimited is part of a diverse group representing agricultural, environmental, forestry, wildlife, nutrition and hunger advocates urging Congress to approve a farm bill this year. Putnam cites voluntary conservation programs with the nation’s farmers as a significant factor in increased waterfowl populations across North America.