Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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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

Pam Bailey, President of GMA

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07-17-2016
This week's guest on Open Mic is Pam Bailey, President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. After months of hard fought debate over GMO food labels, standalone biotech disclosure legislation was approved by the U.S. Congress and will soon be signed into law by President Obama.  Pam Bailey discusses how the labeling debate began and the challenges state labeling laws presented to interstate commerce. Bailey says GMA members are committed to providing the information consumers want and shares how digital disclosure will meet the needs of today's modern shopper.

Jeff Nalley

Pam Bailey, President of GMA

Jim Mulhern, President of NMPF

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07-10-2016

This week's Open Mic guest is Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.The dairy industry has turned sour as the NMPF celebrates its 100th anniversary, but dairy farmers have high hopes for new policy and greater global market access.  In this interview, the dairy industry veteran discusses the challenges farmers face despite an amended federal dairy policy.  Mulhern sees no guarantee of a new farm bill and says debate over biotech disclosure legislation could be a precursor to upcoming debate over food and farm policy. Mulhern says the outcome of the 2016 election will set a definitive course for agriculture for the future of the dairy industry.

Jeff Nalley

Jim Mulhern, President of NMPF

Representative Mike Pompeo - KS

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07-03-2016
This week's guest is Representative Mike Pompeo.  The Kansas Republican served an integral role in developing his chamber's version of national GMO food labeling policy. Pompeo says it's time for congress to act and get the government out of the business of mandating labeling for inherently safe items.  In this week's interview, Pompeo discusses the Senate's biotech disclosure proposal and the path that language might find in the House.  Pompeo shares his view on global trade in response to the position of the leading candidates for the White House, ideas on the Renewable Fuel Standard beyond 2022 and the need for improvements in the nation's transportation infrastructure.

Jeff Nalley

Representative Mike Pompeo

Wholesome Wave CEO Michel Nischan

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06-26-2016

This week's guest on Open Mic is Michel Nischan, CEO and Founder of Wholesome Wave, and an award-winning chef. The USDA announced a second amount of funding for the nonprofit to expand its healthy food initiative into areas of Connecticut and Vermont. The $500,000 was awarded through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program, enabling SNAP program participants to buy more locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. The program means better nutrition for consumers and increased opportunities for local farmers. In this interview, Chef Nischan shares his vision for the power of food to improve personal health, his thoughts on improving diets with fresh as well as frozen vegetables, and his ideas for the future of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Jeff Nalley

Wholesome Wave CEO Michel Nischan