Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Friday, July 19, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Richard Wilkins, President ASA

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02-21-2016
This week’s Open Mic guest is Richard Wilkins, President of the American Soybean Association. In this week’s interview, Wilkins discusses how the vacancy on the Supreme Court may affect the Obama administration’s environmental policy, the soybean farmer’s view of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, whether or not the new farm bill protects farmers during times of lower crop prices and the ASA’s view of proposed cuts to crop insurance. Wilkins says the clock is ticking for Congress to address a nationwide biotech food labeling law and looks forward to Senate Agriculture Committee action later this week.

Jeff Nalley

Richard Wilkins

Jim Walker, VP Case IH

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02-14-2016

This week’s guest on Open Mic is Jim Walker, Vice President of Case IH North America Agriculture Division and Chair of the Ag Sector Board for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. A progressive downturn in net farm income has brought a significant decline in the equipment industry. In this interview Walker tells Agri-Pulse he expects further declines but says advances in technology will fuel future sales as farmers strive for both efficiency and sustainability. Walker says new tax policy will benefit both farmers and equipment manufacturers. Walker sees some areas for compromise on farm programs but not for risk protection from crop insurance.

Jeff Nalley

Jim Walker, Vice President of Case IH North America Agriculture Division

Zippy Duvall, President American Farm Bureau Federation

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02-07-2016

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.

Jeff Nalley

Zippy Duvall, Pres. AFBF

Greg Ibach - President NASDA

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01-31-2016
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.

Jeff Nalley

Greg Ibach - President NASDA

Jean Ronnei - President School Nutrition Assn.

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01-24-2016
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

Jeff Nalley

Jean Ronnei - President School Nutrition Assn.

Ambassador Darci Vetter

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01-17-2016
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 both U.S. export volume and value may be lower, Vetter believes agricultural trade will be less affected by global economics than other products.

Jeff Nalley

Ambassador Darci Vetter - USTR