This week’s Open Mic Guest is the new President of the American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall. As a representative of the nation’s largest general farm organization, Duvall says it’s important for the farm and rural voice to be heard on the national and local level. In this interview Duvall speaks to the industry’s ongoing battle to stop the EPA’s Waters of the US regulations, the need for a national voluntary labeling law and the challenging plight of the cotton industry. Duvall says the AFBF is still evaluating the text of the TPP but is ready to join the fight for greater access to global markets.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Greg Ibach, President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The group begins their 100th anniversary celebration with their winter policy forum this week in Washington. In this interview Ibach shares the group’s hope for increased trade opportunities with the Trans Pacific Partnership trade accord, their concern for pollinator health and for over reach by the EPA with WOTUS regulations. While safe food is a top priority for farmers and government, Ibach says NASDA has reservations regarding implementation of the Food Safety Moderization Act.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Jean Ronnei, President of the School Nutrition Association. The Senate Agriculture Committee took the first step toward school nutrition reauthorization last week with a bipartisan compromise on critical reform issues. Jean Ronnei says the legislation addresses both hunger and nutrition. Ronnei shares her concerns over declining student participation and funding for school nutrition as well as hope that proposed reforms can help districts provide healthy and tasty foods that students want to eat
This week’s interview features Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Ambassador Vetter expects a positive year for global trade with the anticipated congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPA) agreement and conclusion of the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks. Vetter responds to speculation of a potential challenge of U.S. policy for soybean risk protection and possible trade reaction to a pending USDA decision to designate cottonseed as an oilseed. While bothU.S. export volume and value may be lower, Vetter believes agricultural trade will be less affected by global economics than other products.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Gary Adams, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council. In this update you’ll hear why the industry is calling on a cottonseed designation from the USDA and concerns the cotton and textile industry have with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. While the 2014 Farm Bill provided greater risk management tools for farmers, many producers may be challenged to secure financing for this season’s production. Adams also explains the cotton industry’s concerns with USDA’s definitions of those deemed actively engaged in farming.
This week’s Open Mic guest is American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. In this interview, Stallman reflects on his tenure as leader of the nation’s largest general farm organization and many of the changes that occurred. Stallman discusses accomplishments in the last session of Congress and identifies ominous challenges still facing the industry on Capitol Hill and in courtrooms across the country. The Texas farmer and rancher shares thoughts on the debate over GMO labeling, comprehensive tax reform, risk management and why EPA water quality regulations are such a threat to private property rights