Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Open Mic: Jim Matheson, CEO NRECA

Duration: 23:48:00

This week’s Open Mic guest is Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The nation’s rural cooperatives are being pushed to increase base load capacity to meet growing demand from businesses and computer storage facilities. But at the same time, new emission standards by the Environmental Protection Agency threaten the existence of generating plants providing electric service to more than 42 million Americans in 48 states. Matheson says as much as 80% of the power used by cooperatives comes from fossil fuels, including both natural gas and coal, and NRECA is pursuing litigation to stay and overturn the EPA’s new rules.


Kailee Tkacz Buller, President and CEO of the National Oilseed Processors Association

Duration: 24:58

This week’s Open Mic guest is Kailee Tkacz Buller, President and CEO of the National Oilseed Processors Association. The nation’s oilseed processing industry has rapidly been expanding capacity to meet growing demand for their products. Many new plants have been built, others are under construction and additional processing capacity could be added pending public policy decisions. Buller says renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel hold tremendous opportunities for further oilseed industry expansion. Buller hopes 40Z tax credit rules will include more acceptable climate smart production practices and less bundling. NOPA opposes policies that place caps on vegetable oil capacity and encourage imports of used cooking oil from foreign countries.

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Bill Hurley, AGCO Corporation

Duration: 24:48

This week’s guest on Open Mic is Bill Hurley, Vice President of Global Government Affairs for AGCO Corporation and Chairman of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Agriculture Sector Board.  This week “A Celebration of Modern Agriculture” returns to the National Mall in Washington D.C. The event features a display of the technology in farm machinery that’s helping to feed and fuel a growing global population. Exhibiting companies will share how advanced technology is helping farmers not only increase production but also protect the environment  with improved sustainability.  Hurley says technology enables farmers to apply precision practices to individual plants in a field.


Dr. Frank Mitloehner, UC Davis

Duration: 22:37

This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a professor and air quality specialist at UC Davis who also leads the CLEAR Center, concentrating on research and communications. He has been helping the global community better understand the positive impact of livestock on marginal farmlands and opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of dairy digestors and feed additives. Mitloehner wants people to make informed decisions about the foods we eat, while reducing environmental impacts. 


Beth Ellikidis, Vice President, Agriculture and Environment for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Duration: 23:31

This week’s guest on Open Mic is Beth Ellikidis, Vice President, Agriculture and Environment for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. The Biden administration recently announced its Bioeconomy Board, creating new products and services to boost the U.S. economy and workforce and enhance our quality of life and the environment. Ellikidis says BIO’s goal is simply to advocate for the possible. She sees products that will improve agriculture productivity while at the same time lessen the industry’s environmental footprint. Ellikidis says the nation’s regulatory structure is strained to keep up with scientific advancements provided by fast-moving private industry research.

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Barbara O’Brien, President and CEO of Dairy Management Incorporated

Duration: 24:25

This week’s Open Mic guest is Barbara O’Brien, President and CEO of Dairy Management Incorporated.  O’Brien has more than 20 years of experience working for dairy farmers and in the dairy industry. Through challenges of the cyclical nature of the industry as well as the pandemic and shifting consumer trends, the industry is holding it’s own with consumers and developing partnerships with the food industry that’s expanding the positive message of milk and other dairy products. O’Brien addresses the effort the dairy industry has put forward toward good nutrition, sustainable production and overall product safety.