Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Friday, May 17, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Leif Magnusson

Leif Magnusson, Chair AEM

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08-28-2016
This week's guest on Open Mic is Leif Magnusson, President of CLAAS Global Sales Americas and the 2016 Chair of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. This interview includes the status of an industry bearing the burden of a significant fall in US net farm income and the equipment manufacturers' perspective on global trade agreements.  AEM supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and Magnusson shares possible consequences of a failure to ratify the trade pact. Magnusson addresses the crucial connections between the need to develop rural infrastructure, maintaining manufacturing jobs in the country and keeping US agriculture competitive.

Jeff Nalley

Leif Magnusson, Chair AEM

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

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08-21-2016
This week's guest on Open Mic is U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In this interview, Secretary Vilsack discusses the current cyclical swing in farm income and the policy decision Washington must consider to protect the nation's farms and ranches. Vilsack says congressional leaders must consider "need" over budget when considering the next farm bill. While the Trans-Pacific Partnership remains a priority for the Obama administration, Vilsack discusses options to secure congressional support for the deal and defines the ominous challenge of writing regulations to implement the nation's biotech disclosure law.

Jeff Nalley

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

John Keeling, Exec. VP National Potato Council

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08-14-2016

This week's guest on Open Mic is John Keeling, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council. In many ways, the nation's potato growers opposed the biotech disclosure bill recently signed into law by President Obama. John Keeling voices grower concern over the country's shift in labeling philosophy and ideas on future litigation and legislation on food labels.  In this week's interview you'll hear what this group of specialty crop growers want from a new farm bill and their thoughts of separating nutrition and farm policy. With a fifth of domestic production shipped to global markets, Keeling shares concern over negative comments on global trade from the campaign trail and why the NPC supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Jeff Nalley

John Keeling, Exec. VP, National Potato Council

Rep. Jim McGovern

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08-07-2016

This week's guest on Open Mic is U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, who serves the 2nd District of Massachusetts and is a member of the House Agriculture and Rules Committees. McGovern believes food is an important tool to enhance U.S. national security and says farmers and consumers can both benefit from meaningful food and nutrition programs like SNAP. As ranking member on the nutrition sub-committee, McGovern believes additional spending on nutrition programs could save government spending on health care over the longer-term.  McGovern says he eats foods with GMOs but criticizes the recently approved mandatory biotech disclosure legislation and shares why he is no fan of current or pending trade deals.

Jeff Nalley

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

Tom Sleight, President U.S. Grains Council

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07-31-2016
This week's guest on Open Mic is Tom Sleight, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. On the sidelines of the group's summer meeting last week in Louisville, Sleight was optimistic about market growth for not only bulk commodities but for "feed grains in all forms" including ethanol, DDGS, and meat. Sleight counters much of the "trade bashing" that's been taking place on the presidential campaign trail, pointing out that the U.S. has lost more jobs to technology than to trade. He also makes the case that trade agreements build opportunities for industry and farmers as well as build relationships between nations.

Jeff Nalley

Tom Sleight, President U.S. Grains Council

Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-MN

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07-24-2016
This week's Open Mic guest is U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. As the nation's political focus turns to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this week, the agriculture industry awaits what role farm, trade, nutrition and rural issues will play in the party platform. In this week's interview, Senator Klobuchar challenges suggestions that nutrition programs be separated from the farm bill, discusses the need for global trade and offers specific reasons why the Cuban embargo must be lifted. The Minnesota Democrat is a member of the recently formed Rural Broadband Coalition and has joined other congressional leaders challenging the EPA's  preliminary volume obligation targets under the RFS. Senator Klobuchar offers thoughts on the process that brought mandatory biotech disclosure legislation and what role that may play in future debate on Capitol Hill.

Jeff Nalley

Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-MN