This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tom Ryan, President of Truterra. Sustainability has become a new hurdle for farmers, agribusiness, industry and policymakers to address. Ryan says the private industry willing to invest in sustainable agriculture practices are as diverse as the farmers and soil they till to meet the demands placed on their overall productivity. Truterra, the Sustainability Division of Land O Lakes is helping to bridge the opportunities of sustainable ag practices between those companies willing to invest and those farmers who have proven willing to embrace agronomic practices benefitting both productivity and sustainability. Ryan believes cooperation between farmers, USDA, ag retailers and industry can lead to shared success in environmental stewardship.
This week’s Open Mic guest is John Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. Corn products are in 80% of the food and nonfood items in grocery stores today. Bode says the global sustainability effort is opening the doors of opportunity for the industry. Corn refiners support a strong farm safety net in the new farm bill as well as an increased investment of public dollars in ag research. Bode sees China’s growing presence in agricultural trade as a challenge for U.S. farmers and the corn refining industry.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. Many in the dairy industry believe it’s time for the Federal Milk Marketing Order to be updated since much has changed in the industry over the last 23 years. The orders help guarantee an adequate supply of milk and dairy products as well as maintain orderly marketing decisions and there is disagreement in the industry on the extent of data that should be considered in the decision-making process. Mulhern describes the function of change and reasons NMPF believes this should be a more exhaustive process. He applauds progress on dairy product labeling but says legislation is needed to help consumers make educated decisions on the nutritional value of the products they buy.
This week’s Open Mic guest is U.S. Representative Tracey Mann. The Kansas “Big First” representative believes the 118th Congress can deliver a farm bill this year, but not without significant challenges beginning with the impasse over the nation's debt ceiling, out of sync reference prices and a chasm of concern over nutrition assistance eligibility. Mann has concern over China’s aggression toward Taiwan and the significant paradigm shift from dependence on foreign oil to key minerals to make batteries for electric vehicles. Mann says his constituents have concerns over government regulations and taxes on established farms and small businesses.
This week’s Agri-Pulse Open Mic guest is Karl Anderson, president of the Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation. Since 2014, the SoAR Foundation has been working to increase public funding for agriculture research. Over the past few years, China, the European Union, India and other nations have continued to expand their work in food and agricultural research. During the same time, the number of U.S. researchers has fallen by more than 2,500. Anderson shares insight on the need for public dollars invested toward tomorrow’s innovation in food security.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. The Senate Ag Committee member's efforts on Capitol Hill have proven him an effective leader on key issues pertaining to agriculture and rural America. Braun teamed with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., on the Growing Climate Solutions Act; now, he’s lending support to the SAFE Food Act, renewable fuels legislation and a bill to offer a legislative definition of a “Water of the U.S.” On trade, Braun believes Canada and Mexico should be held accountable for violations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. On Capitol Hill, he says the debt ceiling debate has major implications for the next farm bill and nearly every other area of the nation’s financial future.