This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. While the Michigan Democrat is adamant that the principal four negotiators will reach a compromise on a new farm bill, she also shares that the policy preferences between the House and Senate versions of the language are bigger than a single issue. Still, Stabenow isn’t ready to talk about extending the 2014 law.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Representative Collin Peterson, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. The Minnesota Democrat believes agriculture is headed for some “serious tough sledding” and is concerned about whether the 2018 farm safety net will be adequate to protect the industry. He worries that market facilitation payments may undermine future needs for additional price supports. Peterson wants answers from the Environmental Protection Agency about the small refinery waivers that are negatively impacting the ethanol industry and farmers and expresses skepticism about farm support for legislation to address climate change.
This weeks’ guest on Open Mic is Bill Even, CEO of the National Pork Board. As a fifth-generation farmer and former South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, Even is well-versed in the obstacles and opportunities of the nation’s top industry. Despite a setback from a nationwide pig virus a few years ago, Even says hog farmers and the swine industry have ramped up production and capacity to supply the growing demand for pork. Even says African Swine Fever could be the biggest global event of this generation and outlines the challenges of protecting the domestic herd while trying to gain global market access stymied by trade tensions.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas. The 5th generation farmer is fully aware of the difficult economic plight of the nation's agriculture producers. In this interview, he discusses the challenges of unfair trade and the need to support efforts from the White House to level the global trading platform. Lucas discusses the upcoming budget debate and the need for additional disaster assistance and money to keep the nation’s infrastructure system functional and to keep U.S. crops competitive in the global trade arena.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Lisa Safarian, Commercial Operations head for Crop Science, Bayer North America. In the midst of integrating two global agriculture businesses, Bayer is facing headwinds from litigation of existing products like Roundup, as well as one of the most challenging growing seasons in recent U.S. history. In this interview, Safarian talks about the company goal of providing new technology for farmers while at the same time, embracing a fresh commitment toward global sustainability.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Matthew Lohr, Chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The discussion over agriculture sustainability is leading to a renewed interest and support for NRCS and many programs farmers and ranchers utilize to preserve natural resources. The Virginia poultry farmer comments on the relationship between EPA and USDA and speaks to the future of voluntary participation in conservation programs. Natural disasters have devastated farms and ranches across the country and Lohr comments on how NRCS is cooperating with other government agencies to help farmers recover from their tremendous losses.