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

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

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

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Play
04-22-2013
Congressman Rosa DeLauro has strong opinions about hunger in America, farm programs, crop insurance and food safety. Her views offer insight into the challenges that lawmakers and farm groups will face whenever a new farm bill is scheduled for debate on the House floor. DeLauro represents Connecticut's Third District, which stretches from the Long Island Sound and New Haven to the Naugatuck Valley and Waterbury. She serves in the Democratic leadership as co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, and is the ranking member on the Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees investments in education, health, and employment. She also serves on the subcommittee responsible for FDA and agriculture, where she oversees drug and food safety. In this week's Open Mic, DeLauro also discusses her objections to the Trans Pacific Partnership and fears that food safety will be compromised by the agreement.

Rosa DeLauro

Tom Halverson, CoBank

Play
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

Play
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

Play
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

Play
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

Play
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.