This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp. The North Dakota Democrat talks about how weather and other hardships have impacted producers this year and evaluates current farm bill provisions. Heitkamp recently met with Trump Administration officials on trade issues and is keeping a watchful eye on RFS decisions from the EPA. She says her constituents are concerned about both the nation’s complex tax code and growing national debt.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Joni Ernst. The Iowa Republican was among a group of farm state legislators who held the Trump administration accountable to their commitment to support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. In this interview, Senator Ernst discusses possible concessions for the oil industry. Ernst and other leaders are keeping a watchful eye on the trade front as well as tax reform debate in the House. Senator Ernst outlines proposals she’s offered on conservation and risk management provisions in the 2018 farm bill.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Chuck Conner, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. In this week’s interview the former Deputy Ag Secretary discusses pending legislative issues that could have a dramatic impact on the nation’s farmers and their cooperatives. Conner gives caution to a House tax reform proposal, shares concern about ongoing trade negotiations and offers an ultimatum on the failure of the Congress to address agriculture’s need for guest workers.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Andrew Bahrenburgh, National Policy Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition. The nation faces many hurdles in transitioning farms and ranches to a new generation. Identifying land, securing capital, tax reform and training are just a few of the issues potential young farmers face. In this interview, Bahrenburgh discusses young farmer and rancher needs in the new farm bill and one major obstacle that no other generation has faced before.
As hundreds of barges sit stranded along the banks of the Ohio River, it’s no secret that are nation’s ailing locks and dams are in need of an update. This week’s guest on Open Mic is Mike Toohey, President and CEO of the Waterways Council Inc. He describes the struggle of keeping an antiquated system functional and efforts to find adequate funding to replace dilapidated structures which are so critical to the U.S. economy and agriculture’s global competitiveness. Toohey says proposed tax reform and the Trump administration’s proposal to invest in the nation’s infrastructure could help, but aren’t guaranteed.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. With all eyes on the fourth round of NAFTA 2.0 talks in Washington this week, the dairy industry anxiously awaits the opportunity to challenge Canada’s dairy policy. In this interview, Mulhern expresses the dairy industry’s desire for immigration reform and the consequences of congressional delay. After three years of low prices and reduced income, Mulhern says the industry is ready to see dairy policy reform.