This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Heath Tarbert, chairman and chief executive of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC is perhaps the least known but most significant agency in Washington, regulating price discovery of most of the products consumers use every day. From electronic currencies to farm commodities and crude oil, the agency serves as an overseer of the derivatives market through various domestic commodity exchanges and collaborates with other agencies around the world. The agency has just released a position limits proposal to guard against excessive speculation in commodity trading that has been met with resistance in Washington. Tarbert says the CFTC is investing in advanced technology to monitor electronic trade and protect true price discovery.
This week's guest on Open Mic is Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. As an appropriator, Moran has a unique look at the government funding conversation and offers his insights as to what should be expected from the Appropriations committees this year. Moran also offers his insights on how he expects election-year politics to impact Capitol Hill. The former leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee discusses what he thinks rural America wants to hear from political candidates and talks about the Senate race in his home state.
This week's guest on Open Mic is Michael Dykes, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. Dykes says trade is a critical issue for the dairy sector and discusses export markets abroad. Here at home, he says the industry must adapt to the desires of the consumer, both in the products IDFA members produce and how the message surrounding them is communicated.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. After serving for 15 years on the front lines for the beef industry in Washington, Woodall assumed the reins of the association last year. Consumer demand for beef has helped sustain cattle prices, but the industry is looking forward to an increase in export demand through new trade agreements. The Texas native says NCBA members will be more aggressive in defending themselves in the public eye about the positive attributes to the beef industry and are prepared for some long battles over tough legislative and regulatory issues.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Scott VanderWal, vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The South Dakota crop and livestock farmer is familiar with the challenges of 2019 and equally hopeful that the plight of agriculture will see a brighter horizon in the new year. VanderWal believes agriculture issues will play a role in the 2020 race for the White House, providing an opportunity for the industry to tout important issues. He hopes a USMCA vote can come quickly in the U.S. Senate and says demand erosion from the EPA’s RFS implementation has caused some heartburn for farmers and the renewable fuel industry. He also highlights the organization’s 101st Convention and Trade Show later this month in Austin, Texas.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is UC Davis Professor Dr. Frank Mitloehner, an air quality extension specialist. The Council for Agriculture Science and Technology named Dr. Mitloehner the 2019 winner of the Borlaug Communications Award for his efforts in sharing the factual influence of animals and agriculture on climate change. In this podcast, Mitloehner offers examples of how government incentives and research can help farmers achieve sustainable climate goals and reduce greenhouse gases while maintaining food production. He calls for more serious thinking about “sustainable intensification” and how to do more with less.