Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Thursday, June 13, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Open Mic: Chuck Conner, President and CEO NCFC

Duration: 23:32:00

This week’s Open Mic guest is Chuck Conner, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. A veteran of 9 farm bills, Conner's been on the markup side of policy on the Hill and the implementation side at USDA. Conner notes most of the bill’s debate on the House Ag Committee was more about nutrition programs than the farm safety net, but real differences remain between key players and should be worked out as the bill advances. He also discusses actions to address California's Prop. 12 and the adverse impacts on those least able to afford higher food prices. 


Open Mic: Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO

Duration: 25:47

This week’s Open Mic guest is Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of the US Meat Export Federation. While the USDA is forecasting an even larger agriculture trade deficit this year, meat export sales are an exception to the rule. Halstrom says despite a strong dollar pork exports are up in both volume and value. Despite shorter beef supplies, Halstrom says global demand is still robust. Red meat export sales are providing a positive return on investment in federal promotion dollars but Halstrom says there are headwinds the industry still must overcome.


Open Mic: Chandler Goule, CEO National Association of Wheat Growers

Duration: 25:08

This week’s Open Mic guest is Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers. He has served in the halls of Congress and for the nation’s crop farmers over his extensive career in Washington.  Goule says failure to enact a new farm bill will only heap greater challenges on policy writers in 2025 and leave farmers with a policy that does not accurately reflect the financial risks producers face. Goule says the nation is losing wheat acres and growers to other crops that benefit from both advanced genetics and demand from new uses. NAWG supports crops for renewable fuels, but says unintended consequences from trade, farm policy and research could lead to dire and unintended consequences for the nation’s number one food grain and its growers.


Open Mic: Jim Matheson, CEO NRECA

Duration: 23:48:00

This week’s Open Mic guest is Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The nation’s rural cooperatives are being pushed to increase base load capacity to meet growing demand from businesses and computer storage facilities. But at the same time, new emission standards by the Environmental Protection Agency threaten the existence of generating plants providing electric service to more than 42 million Americans in 48 states. Matheson says as much as 80% of the power used by cooperatives comes from fossil fuels, including both natural gas and coal, and NRECA is pursuing litigation to stay and overturn the EPA’s new rules.


Kailee Tkacz Buller, President and CEO of the National Oilseed Processors Association

Duration: 24:58

This week’s Open Mic guest is Kailee Tkacz Buller, President and CEO of the National Oilseed Processors Association. The nation’s oilseed processing industry has rapidly been expanding capacity to meet growing demand for their products. Many new plants have been built, others are under construction and additional processing capacity could be added pending public policy decisions. Buller says renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel hold tremendous opportunities for further oilseed industry expansion. Buller hopes 40Z tax credit rules will include more acceptable climate smart production practices and less bundling. NOPA opposes policies that place caps on vegetable oil capacity and encourage imports of used cooking oil from foreign countries.

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Bill Hurley, AGCO Corporation

Duration: 24:48

This week’s guest on Open Mic is Bill Hurley, Vice President of Global Government Affairs for AGCO Corporation and Chairman of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Agriculture Sector Board.  This week “A Celebration of Modern Agriculture” returns to the National Mall in Washington D.C. The event features a display of the technology in farm machinery that’s helping to feed and fuel a growing global population. Exhibiting companies will share how advanced technology is helping farmers not only increase production but also protect the environment  with improved sustainability.  Hurley says technology enables farmers to apply precision practices to individual plants in a field.