Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Monday, November 28, 2022

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
Subscribe to this Podcast

Tom Vilsack, Secretary USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says American agriculture needs to build on the positive momentum of 2014. For the year ahead Vilsack says the relationship between the new GOP led congress and the Obama Administration on trade, transportation, budget and regulatory issues will set the pace for the industry. Vilsack says USDA continues to work toward implementation of new farm policy including a definition of those actively engaged in farming. Nutrition is on the agenda for the new year with a scope ranging from school lunches to new dietary guidelines for the nation from the USDA.

Jeff Nalley

Secretary Tom Vilsack

huzinga close.jpeg

Kornelis "Kees" Huizinga, Global Farmer Network & Ukrainian farmer

Duration: 25:01

This week’s guest is Kornelis “Kees” Huizinga, a member of the Global Farmer Network and farmer in central Ukraine. Since moving to Ukraine two decades ago, Kees Huizinga have seen exponential increases in planted area and production per hectare making them a major player in global markets. But Russia’s invasion of the country has brought major hardship on Ukraine farmers in the loss of crops, livestock and infrastructure. Many Ukraine farmers have been lost not just in battles but while tending their fields and caring for livestock. Kees says farmers today identify with their grandfathers who fought for freedom during World War II. And he emphasizes the need to continue supporting Ukraine’s military.


Chris Novak, CropLife America President & CEO

Duration: 23:38

This week’s Open Mic guest is Chris Novak, President and CEO of CropLife America. With the dust still settling from the mid-term elections, officials with the crop protection industry have set their sights on the lame duck session of Congress, hopeful that Environmental Protection Agency funding and the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act can see action by legislators. Novak discusses the regulatory bottlenecks at EPA, the impacts on bringing new, more sustainable crop protection chemicals to market, as well as new questions by environmentalists about the Endangered Species Act. Novak says the industry is facing economic headwinds from higher energy and operating costs but expects to have products in place to meet farmer needs for the 2023 crop year.


Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.

Duration: 23:38

This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Rick Crawford. The Arkansas Republican was elected to a 7th term in last week’s election. Looking forward, Crawford doesn’t expect significant legislation to come from a limited lame duck session and suggests narrow margins in the next Senate and House will require compromise and a bipartisan effort to accomplish much. Crawford suggests a more conciliatory tone from the White House could bring legislative victories in the new year. He expects a new farm bill to be marked up next year and doesn’t expect significant policy changes, but says reference prices for many commodities will need to be adjusted. Finally, Crawford offers caution when dealing with the Chinese.


Errico Auricchio, Consortium of Common Food Names

Duration: 23:17

This week’s Open Mic guest is Errico Auricchio, chairman of the Consortium of Common Food Names. The European Union has been successful in negotiating trade agreements that prevent producers of certain foods from selling in those markets unless they’re produced by EU member countries. Auricchio brought his family’s tradition of producing fine cheeses to the United States in the late 1970’s. Now, Wisconsin-based BelGioioso cheese, vineyards and other food companies are seeing limited access to global markets because of the EU’s GI claims. Auricchio and other members of the CCFN are urging Washington to step up efforts to maintain global opportunities for American food companies.


House Rules Chair Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

Duration: 25:07

This week’s Open Mic guest is House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern. The Massachusetts Democrat is an outspoken supporter of government food and nutrition programs. McGovern strongly approves of President Joe Biden’s attention to health and nutrition and ending hunger in the United States by 2030 and says he will not support a new farm bill that does not support the White House initiatives toward ending hunger. McGovern scoffs at critics who suggest Democrats are to blame for inflation and a troubled economy. He questions sanctions without review and says relations with China require a delicate balance.