This week’s guest on Open Mic is John Weber an Iowa hog farmer and a past president of the National Pork Producers Council. In this interview Weber reflects on the U.S. pork industry’s efforts to ramp up production to compete for a larger share of a growing global marketplace for their product. Now with a future clouded by retaliation from Trump trade tariffs, Weber says its time for the administration to deliver on promised bilateral trade deals and get involved in 21st century global trade. Weber also comments on continued hopes for immigration reform for the ag labor workforce and administration efforts toward new WOTUS regulations.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union. As Washington appears closer to approving new farm policy, Johnson fears the policy won’t be enough to protect farmers in the current market environment. He offers a strong opinion on the Trump administration’s trade policy with China and offers guarded support for the newly signed USMCA. For 2019, Johnson sees an opportunity for better legislation from both sides of the political aisle.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. In this interview, the Georgia farmer talks about catastrophic disaster in the country and the need for standard policy to address the lasting impact of natural disasters. Duvall hopes for a new farm bill before the end of the year and quick resolution to trade issues that have wreaked havoc on commodity prices and farm income. He also highlights the upcoming 100th anniversary convention of the AFBF in New Orleans and issues that will be considered by the delegate body in January.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Carrie Calvert, Managing Director of Government Relations for Feeding America. Despite the country’s surplus of food production, more than 12 percent of the nation’s population is food insecure. In this interview, Calvert weighs in on the nation’s nutrition assistance debate, the need for a farm bill, and Feeding America’s effort to deal with food waste. Calvert reports on how surplus food purchases under the Trump trade assistance program is helping provide much needed help to food banks across the nation.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Rod Hebrink, President and CEO of Compeer Financial. The lack of certainty from a new farm bill and weak commodity prices due to lost export markets and robust supplies have left farmers and lenders with a grim outlook for 2019. In this interview, Hebrink discusses the challenge of the unknown and the need for legislators and the White House to take action on farm policy, trade and regulations to help rural America prepare for the year ahead.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture Ted McKinney. While the Trump administration’s trade tactics have drawn both the praise and ire of commodity groups, McKinney’s attention to opening new markets and diversifying agriculture’s portfolio has been welcome news. In this interview the Hoosier native reports on his trade missions to Southern Africa and Central America as well as his hopes on bi-lateral negotiations with Japan and the European Union. McKinney also offers his thoughts on upcoming talks between the U.S. and China.