Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Rep. Bob Goodlatte - R-VA

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04-08-2013
Bob Goodlatte is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. In this week's Open Mic, the Virginia Republican talks about pending immigration bills and the potential for bipartisan support in the Senate and House of Representatives. Goodlatte wants to eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and presents his argument for dismantling the requirement that corn-based ethanol be given an unfair advantage in the marketplace. The Chairman also speculates on the likelihood of a farm bill being written, debated and passed in this year and the potential change in the number of "no" votes that occurred in the last effort to pass the farm bill.

Representative Bob Goodlatte

Tom Halverson, CoBank

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Duration:
01-24-2021
This week’s Open Mic guest is Tom Halverson, president and CEO of CoBank. The balance of debt stocks of U.S. farmers has grown during the downturn in the overall farm economy, but thankfully, the load of debt service has been eased by the tailwinds of increased global trade and higher commodity prices as well as very low interest rates. CoBank’s Halverson expects borrowing rates to remain low and farm income to improve as global commodity stocks remain tight in the near future. Halverson is hopeful the Biden administration will pursue an aggressive global trade strategy and says the ag industry must be prepared to defend its position as part of the solution in any climate policy.  

USSEC CEO Jim Sutter

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Duration:
01-17-2021
This week’s Open Mic guest is Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council. In a matter of a few short months, the value of soybeans has seen an astronomical market spike. Sutter says China’s renewed appetite for U.S. soy is a big reason, but not the only bullish influence in the market. Sutter says collaboration with other commodity organizations and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has helped revive global demand and improve the industry’s balance of trade. Sutter says the U.S. soybean sustainability message is strong and could help other countries achieve their climate objectives. Sutter says the Biden administration's trade agenda will be a critical influence on the soybean market’s long term outlook.

AAR President & CEO Ian Jefferies

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Duration:
01-10-2021
This week’s Open Mic guest is Ian Jefferies, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. The rail industry is enjoying an upswing in shipping volumes with the return of global demand for ag commodities following trade tensions with China and the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jefferies says the industry partnered with agriculture and others in the call for Congress to approve USMCA and is hopeful global trade opportunities will expand. While the rail industry invests billions in its own infrastructure annually, they’re hopeful the incoming Biden administration will bring renewed financial support for the nation’s dilapidated bridges and locks and dams. AAR supports an updated highway bill and believes the rail industry can play a significant role in climate priorities in the 117th Congress.

USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey

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Duration:
01-03-2021
This week’s Open Mic Guest is USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. Nearing the end of his tenure as the first FPAC leader, Northey suggests the majority of work on implementing the 2018 farm bill is done as well the heavy lifting for the first two rounds of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funding for a diverse group of farmers and ranchers across the nation. Ahead, Northey believes Congress should consider some mechanism for ad hoc assistance to be administered through USDA's Commodity Credit Corps. without additional legislative action. Northey believes CCC limits should be addressed in a new farm bill and believes a shift to climate-smart farm programs will include a number of conservation practices farmers are already implementing voluntarily. He says adequate broadband service is still an issue the Biden administration will need to address.
Congressman Jim McGovern

Congressman Jim McGovern

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Duration:
12-27-2020
This week’s Open Mic guest is U.S. Representative Jim McGovern. The Massachusetts Congressman is outspoken in support of the millions of Americans that, despite stepped up efforts by Washington and volunteers across the nation, are still food insecure. McGovern is calling on President-Elect Joe Biden to appoint a Hunger Czar to centralize government efforts on food insecurity. McGovern says politicians are the problem because they lack the political will to address systemic issues that lead to the growing hunger issue. On trade, McGovern is hopeful for more diplomacy under the Biden administration in the nation’s trade relationship with China.