Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb.

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12-03-2017
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Nebraska Rep. Adrian Smith. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, the 3rd district representative has been deeply involved in tax reform efforts. With separate tax bills approved in both chambers, Smith is hopeful the tax code revisions will support farmers and small business owners as well as encourage the corporate community to spend more on employees and wages. The GOP Congressman is supportive of trade agreements and cautious of negotiations that might limit agriculture’s access to global markets. Smith has introduced renewable fuels legislation and offers his thoughts on amending the RFS.

Kevin Skunes, President National Corn Growers Assn.

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06-17-2018
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Kevin Skunes, President of the National Corn Growers Association. Corn farmers have grave concerns over President Trump’s trade agenda as well as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s actions reducing volume demand for ethanol. In this week’s interview North Dakota’s Kevin Skunes voices farmer concerns over lost corn demand for renewable fuel and the potential loss of export market access. Skunes says corn farmers applaud the Senate Ag Committee’s approval of a new farm bill and look forward to pending full floor debate of new farm laws.

Ambassador Allen Johnson

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06-10-2018

This week’s guest on Open Mic is Ambassador Allen Johnson, President of Allen F. Johnson and Associates. As Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative's Office during the Bush Administration, Johnson successfully negotiated a dozen agreements on five continents. In this interview, Johnson offers his insight to the strong hand the Trump administration is using to bring about fair trade for U.S. farmers, industry and intellectual property. Johnson says initiating change isn’t easy, but the reward may well be worth the challenge at hand. To read the transcript of this interview click here

Tim Lust, CEO National Sorghum Producers

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06-03-2018
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tim Lust, CEO of the National Sorghum Producers. The nation’s sorghum producers survived a season of heavy Chinese trade tariffs for their product and now are hopeful trade negotiations can offer additional access to that growing market. In this interview, Lust discusses new global market opportunities for sorghum as well as the exponential demand increase here at home. Lust says they’re keeping a close eye on the EPA and potential changes to the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard as well as development of the 2018 farm bill.

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida

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05-27-2018
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho. As a member of the Agriculture Committee and the House Freedom Caucus, the Florida Representative offers insight into the failed vote for a new farm bill and key points for debate on immigration reform. Yoho, who was once a food stamp recipient, says there’s much to gain from approving new farm and nutrition policy this year and much to lose if Congress is forced to extend the 2014 law. He supports a new NAFTA agreement and says his farmers have suffered under the previous agreement.

Emily Skor, CEO Growth Energy

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05-20-2018
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. The renewable fuels industry is encouraged by a White House pledge to sell E-15 year round, but is concerned about the final outcome of the Trump administration’s discussions on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Skor suggests some possible conclusions might immediately lower corn prices and threaten thousands of renewable energy jobs. She is also concerned about hardship waivers granted by the EPA and has doubts about Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to fulfilling President Trump’s pledge to support renewable energy.