This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator John Hoeven. Severe drought in his home state and across the Northern Plains heightens the need to secure risk management tools to protect farmers and ranchers. As agriculture chair on the Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven says the budget will be a challenge in writing a new farm bill. The North Dakota Republican says agriculture has a strong message to share on budget savings and a real need for protection given current challenges from revenue and potentially from global trade.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Ron DeHaven, President DeHaven Veterinary Solutions. A vast coalition of producer and allied industry groups are calling on congress to approve funds and establish a vaccine bank to protect the U.S. livestock industry from a potential outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. As a former Administrator of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and former CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. DeHaven outlines the vulnerability of the livestock industry, cites the implications of a single occurrence of the infectious viral disease and outlines how a ready supply vaccine could limit animal mortality and economic loss.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Jon Tester. In this interview the Montana Democrat gives an update on drought conditions that are gripping his home state. Tester says the Trump administration’s comments on trade could easily be interpreted as a shift to protectionism. He fears the U.S. will fall behind by pursuing only bi-lateral trade agreements. Tester favors a strong farm safety net including crop insurance and discusses the need for adequate funding for rural development.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tom Sleight, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. Access to global markets is critical to the success of America’s agriculture industry. Global trading partners are accusing the Trump administration of shifting to a more protectionist trade attitude meanwhile pursuing bi-lateral and multi-later trade accords without the U.S. In this interview, Sleight responds to trade rhetoric and identifies other challenges the U.S. faces in maintaining global market share. Sleight also previews the group’s upcoming Summer meeting in Vancouver.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Representative Rodney Davis. The Illinois Republican says the task ahead of crafting a new farm bill is easier because of the success of the current legislation that saved billions and provided effective risk management tools for farmers. As a sub-committee chair on the House Agriculture Committee, Davis discusses the need for funding ag research, his thoughts on reorganizing USDA and objectives for reopening the NAFTA trade agreement.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Kentucky First District Representative James Comer. The Kentucky Republican is one of a few elected officials who actively farms for a living and recognizes the challenge of approving new farm policy. In this interview, Comer discusses proposed budget cuts on agriculture and nutrition programs and Medicaid. Comer says the Dodd Frank legislation has hurt his district and may prevent farmers access to loans next year. As a beef producer, Comer supports efforts to protect livestock farmers but admits funding is an issue.