This week’s guest on Open Mic is Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay. All eyes are on the next scheduled talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement amid anticipation of a breakthrough in the more challenging agriculture issues. MacAulay tells Agri-Pulse that “trade creates wealth.” He says Canada has no intention of walking away from the talks but will only sign a good agreement. MacAulay says negotiators were successful 23 years ago and he’s hopeful they can do it again.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Joni Ernst. The Iowa Republican says farmer concerns over possible changes to the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard are justified and continues to implore the White House to consider the negative impact of a RIN price cap on farm income. In this interview Senator Ernst discusses agriculture’s need for global market access and offers her concerns over the Trump administration’s decisions on trade negotiations and metals tariffs.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is John Heisdorffer, President of the American Soybean Association. Fresh from last week’s Commodity Classic meeting in Anaheim, John shares priorities for soybean growers in the coming farm bill debate, concerns about the implications of possible trade tariffs on top soybean customers and the need to embrace new technology for today’s farmers.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. Rural prosperity has been a priority for the Trump administration with Secretary Sonny Perdue leading an Interagency Task Force on the matter. In this interview, Hazlett outlines key findings in the report and the need for public and private agencies to work together to resolve critical quality of life issues in rural America.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Alex Moore, Chief Development Officer with the DC Central Kitchen. Hunger and poverty threaten hundreds of thousands of individuals in the DC area daily. Moore, along with the staff and volunteers of this nationally acclaimed nonprofit, feed thousands daily and offer job training and food education for people in need in DC and across the country. Moore says changes to federal food assistance programs would only heap an even greater burden on theirs and other organizations who stand in the gap for those in need. Defining the challenge Moore said, “Poverty’s not the moral failing of people. Poverty is a moral failure of a country that tolerates it.”
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tom Halverson, CEO of CoBank. As farmers and Ranchers deal with what appears to be another year of low commodity prices, Tom Halverson says there are other challenges that could add to the financial strain on the nation’s ag producers. In this interview, Halverson talks about the need for a new farm bill, open access to global markets and the downside of potentially higher interest rates. Halverson echoes President Trump’s call for infrastructure investment and believes the tax reform legislation is positive for the agriculture industry.