Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Monday, October 02, 2023

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam

Duration: 26:24

This week’s Open Mic guest is Adam Putnam, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. In this interview, Putnam outlines the headwinds facing the approval of a new farm bill and how important the language remains for the food and conservation needs of the nation. Ducks Unlimited is part of a diverse group representing agricultural, environmental, forestry, wildlife, nutrition and hunger advocates urging Congress to approve a farm bill this year. Putnam cites voluntary conservation programs with the nation’s farmers as a significant factor in increased waterfowl populations across North America.


Bruce Rastetter, Summit Agricultural Group

Duration: 28:39

This week’s Open Mic guest is Bruce Rastetter, founder and executive chairman of Summit Agricultural Group. Rastetter’s career includes feed sales, swine production and renewable fuels. In this interview, he speaks to headwinds to both the livestock production and renewable fuel sectors as well as opportunities for growth. He shares advice for future agricultural entrepreneurs and speaks to the need for a carbon pipeline and the ongoing challenges of gaining approval for its construction.


Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA CEO

Duration: 25:17

This week’s Open Mic guest is Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association. Despite the work of several government agencies and billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars invested, there is still a significant number of Americans without broadband or adequate bandwidth to support effective service. Bloomfield says hundreds of for profit and non-profit companies are working to close the digital divide, but there are numerous terrain challenges as well as regulatory headwinds from Washington that stand in the way of providing service to rural areas. Bloomfield comments on the USDA’s ReConnect program and other supports from Washington that are helping to bring service to rural America.


Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C.

Duration: 23:09

This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C. In his first term representing the state’s first district, Davis finds himself not only on the House Ag Committee but also helping to lead a bipartisan task force focused on agriculture labor issues and a farm bill task force of the New Democrat Coalition. Davis sees agriculture and rural issues as a priority for his district and the nation, but not the highest priority among elected leaders in Washington. Davis is committed to workable environmental policy for farmers and is anxious to see how the Biden administration will handle Waters of the United States rulemaking.


Dan Basse, AgResource

Duration: 25:27

This week’s Open Mic guest is Dan Basse, president of AgResource. As Congress prepares to write a new farm bill, Basse says the industry is seeing domestication of market structure. Despite regulatory headwinds from Washington, Basse believes demand for renewable energy feedstocks will command a greater presence in price discovery. Globally, Brazil may be nearing an end to its rapid expansion of production area while the Russian invasion may see a tremendous decline in Ukraine grain production. Basse sees India as a rising opportunity for U.S. ag exports while China remains a wild card with both production and imports.


Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association

Duration: 24:13

This week’s Open Mic guest is Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. The Biden administration’s vehicle emissions rulemaking is drawing fire from oil and agriculture industry groups over concerns the rule would be a de-facto ban on internal combustion engines in the future. RFA is one of more than 100 groups that wrote President Joe Biden recently asking for liquid transportation fuels and various engine technologies to be a part of the solution to meet the nation’s goals for reducing emissions. Cooper laments headwinds for renewable fuels from the last three administrations and says it’s time for legislation to define the regulatory role of the EPA.