Iowa Congressman David Young discusses the wins and losses for agriculture in last week’s congressional action on spending and taxes in this week's Open Mic. While agriculture failed to see language to stop the EPA from enforcing its WOTUS regulations and couldn’t establish a national standard for voluntary GM food labeling, he shares other policy victories on taxes and renewable fuels. For the year ahead, Young discuss his goals for comprehensive tax reform, continued support for renewable energy, the potential for a multi-year budget process and he shares some pointed questions for 2016 presidential candidates when they visit his home state of Iowa.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Rep. Collin Peterson, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee. In this interview, the Minnesota Democrat shares his concerns with the current farm law and on how farmers are using its risk management tools. Peterson identifies what he sees as two flaws in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and shares his thoughts following a recent hearing on the Farm Credit System. Peterson says it’s too soon to pass judgement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and believes it may be an uphill battle to find congressional approval.
This week Agri-Pulse Open Mic features Jeff Swanhorst, chief credit officer for AgriBank. Lower farm income is already affecting farm balance sheets and raising concerns about operating loans. This interview includes tough questions and straight answers on the sufficiency of the new farm bill and crop insurance to help farmers manage risk, the outlook for farmland prices, and how lower commodity returns could force a shift in crop acreage. Jeff Swanhorst says the industry has entered an ag efficiency cycle that will likely include further producer consolidation.
Agri-Pulse Open Mic features U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. The Hoosier Democrat is an outspoken critic of the Environmental Protection Agency’s WOTUS rule. In this week’s interview, Donnelly suggests legislative action may still be possible to thwart the agency’s new regulations. Senator Donnelly shares support for the Export Import Bank, has hopes for child nutrition reform and feels an urgency to resolve COOL laws in light of pending trade retaliation from Canada and Mexico. Like others in Washington and across the country, Donnelly is evaluating the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and shares ideas on what is needed to gain his vote on the measure.
Our guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. In this week’s interview the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee discusses a challenging agricultural agenda. With time running out on the congressional calendar, Stabenow feels an urgency to find compromise on GMO labeling and COOL trade laws. Stabenow discusses a potential compromise on child nutrition reform and defines the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal as a complicated proposal with benefits for agriculture but challenges for industry. Stabenow also lists legislation that could be included in an omnibus appropriations bill next month.
Our guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan. In this week’s interview, the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee discusses further action on the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. definition and says his committee is close to a compromise on a child nutrition bill. Roberts expects further attacks on the crop insurance industry and says he and other congressional farm state leaders are ready to defend farmers’ top policy priorities. Roberts says with the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership now public, he and other leaders can begin to evaluate and debate what the proposed deal would mean to agriculture and the nation.