Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway

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01-25-2015
As Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the 114th Congress, Mike Conaway has revised the subcommittee structure to allow for closer policy oversight and careful attention to reauthorization of nutrition programs and futures trading. In his first audio interview on ag issues this year, Conaway covers a wide variety of topics. He expects congressional action on immigration policy but isn’t sure tax reform will be a part of the early congressional agenda. The Texas Republican says the budget process will dominate the early days of the new congress and expects budget reconciliation to play a major role in policy reform and debate. Conaway says the government must respect industry investments made within the Renewable Fuels Standard but questions overall volumes.

Jeff Nalley

House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway

Senator John Thune-SD

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01-18-2015
South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune believes even a divided government can be successful. After meeting with other GOP leaders at the White House last week, Thune believes the 114th Congress can work with the Obama administration on both trade cyber security and national security. Thune says a revision to the nation's tax code is possible but the executive and legislative branches of government are obviously at odds over the Keystone Pipeline and Obamacare. Senator Thune didn't agree with every provision of the new farm bill and says some supports may be difficult to defend if producers allow policy to dictate planting decisions.

Agri-Pulse staff

Senator John Thune-SD

Tom Vilsack, Secretary USDA

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01-11-2015
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says American agriculture needs to build on the positive momentum of 2014. For the year ahead Vilsack says the relationship between the new GOP led congress and the Obama Administration on trade, transportation, budget and regulatory issues will set the pace for the industry. Vilsack says USDA continues to work toward implementation of new farm policy including a definition of those actively engaged in farming. Nutrition is on the agenda for the new year with a scope ranging from school lunches to new dietary guidelines for the nation from the USDA.

Jeff Nalley

Secretary Tom Vilsack

Andrew LaVigne, President and CEO ASTA

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01-04-2015
New innovations in seed breeding and biotechnology hold promise of helping members of the American Seed Trade Association to continue their goal of providing high quality seed to their customers. However, consumer acceptance and regulatory approval of new seed traits proves to be a continuing challenge for the seed industry. Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the ASTA says they're introducing an educational campaign to help farmers, consumers and government agencies understand what seed companies are doing to bring new varieties to the market place. LaVigne ASTA's goal is to have a regulatory structure that is clear and transparent for the seed industry.

Jeff Nalley

Andrew LaVigne

John Kavulich, Sr Policy Advisor for the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council

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12-28-2014
Following months of secret talks between the two countries, President Obama is using executive power to re-establishing diplomatic relations and easing economic and travel restrictions with Cuba. While he cannot unilaterally end the nation's economic embargo without congressional action, the president's move has been welcomed by many agriculture groups and some legislators. John Kavulich, Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council believes the key to additional commerce between the two nation's lies in credit and acceptance by both governments.

Jeff Nalley

John Kavulich, Sr Policy Advisor

Charlie O'Brien, Sr VP-Association of Equipment Manufacturers

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12-21-2014
The push for agriculture productivity and sustainability has brought rapid innovation for farm machines in the US and around the globe. While global food, fiber and fuel demand promise opportunity for machinery manufacturers, the agriculture equipment industry faces real challenges from a global economic downturn, higher emission standards, uncertain U.S. tax policy and a paradigm shift in net farm income from lower commodity prices. Charlie O'Brien, Senior Vice President for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers says technology in the coming generations of farm machinery will lead to a more rapid turnover of equipment sales as producers strive to maximize both efficiency and production.

Jeff Nalley

Charlie OBrien, Sr VP-Association of Equipment Manufacturers