This week’s guest on Open Mic is Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. After serving for 15 years on the front lines for the beef industry in Washington, Woodall assumed the reins of the association last year. Consumer demand for beef has helped sustain cattle prices, but the industry is looking forward to an increase in export demand through new trade agreements. The Texas native says NCBA members will be more aggressive in defending themselves in the public eye about the positive attributes to the beef industry and are prepared for some long battles over tough legislative and regulatory issues.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Scott VanderWal, vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The South Dakota crop and livestock farmer is familiar with the challenges of 2019 and equally hopeful that the plight of agriculture will see a brighter horizon in the new year. VanderWal believes agriculture issues will play a role in the 2020 race for the White House, providing an opportunity for the industry to tout important issues. He hopes a USMCA vote can come quickly in the U.S. Senate and says demand erosion from the EPA’s RFS implementation has caused some heartburn for farmers and the renewable fuel industry. He also highlights the organization’s 101st Convention and Trade Show later this month in Austin, Texas.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is UC Davis Professor Dr. Frank Mitloehner, an air quality extension specialist. The Council for Agriculture Science and Technology named Dr. Mitloehner the 2019 winner of the Borlaug Communications Award for his efforts in sharing the factual influence of animals and agriculture on climate change. In this podcast, Mitloehner offers examples of how government incentives and research can help farmers achieve sustainable climate goals and reduce greenhouse gases while maintaining food production. He calls for more serious thinking about “sustainable intensification” and how to do more with less.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Deb Fischer. The Nebraska Republican doesn’t believe President Trump was afforded due process in the House impeachment trial and offers her views on potential Senate action. Fischer is anxious to see USMCA approved and hopes for tangible progress in trade negotiations with China. Fischer doesn’t believe the EPA’s reallocation plan lives up to a White House promise and has offered legislation to address accuracy in beef labeling.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren. The California Democrat worked with some GOP members and the ag industry to see the Farm Worker Modernization act approved last week in the House. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, but has the backing of hundreds of farm groups across the country. On trade, Lofgren supports the USMCA as amended but isn’t sure the phase one pact announced with China has much to offer her district.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. Few years have presented as many weather challenges for farmers as 2019. USDA’s Farm Service Agency has acted to lessen the effects on crop and livestock farmers as well as facilitated the Trump administration's trade assistance programs. In this interview, Northey speaks to the new signup for the Conservation Reserve Program, upcoming deadlines under the 2018 farm bill and the possibility of a third tranche of payments next year under the Market Facilitation Program.