This week’s Open Mic guest is U.S. Senator Jon Tester. Tester, the farmer and legislator, is concerned about price discovery in the cattle market. Despite concern raised by two major ag groups, Tester believes any final legislative solution will have to have some mandatory level of animals sold at auction. The Montana ag leader is concerned about geopolitical events including Russia and China and certain market ramifications if either or both turn to military action. Tester expands thoughts on concern over foreign farm land ownership, right to repair legislation and political influence over the Federal Reserve.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. Following a successful Executive Leadership Conference last week, Skor says some regulatory and judicial decisions have worked against the renewable fuels industry, but she’s encouraged with the role ethanol and all renewable fuels can play in addressing climate change and providing relief from high gasoline prices. State goals for carbon reduction are creating more demand for next generation biofuels and the Biden administration’s targets for the airline industry could offer big dividends for renewables. Skor sees tremendous opportunity for renewable energy in legacy vehicles and the non-electrification market on the land, the sea and in the air.
This week’s Open Mic guest is P.J. Haynie III, chairman of the National Black Growers Council. In this interview, Haynie reflects on the mission and beginnings of a coalition of Black row crop farmers with the intent of sharing information and growth opportunities for Black farmers across America. Haynie, a fifth-generation farmer and descendent of a former slave, defines the decline in black farmers nationally and explains the coalition’s goal of educating, networking and identifying opportunities for black farmers. Haynie supports Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s pledge to see USDA through a “lens of diversity” to better serve the disparity of services to minority farmers nationwide.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Gary Adams, president and CEO of the National Cotton Council. Like other crop farmers, Adams says cotton farmers are burdened with uncertain input supplies and prices for the new crop year. Adams says infrastructure bottlenecks are also proving a challenge of satisfying market shipments to customers in the U.S. and around the globe. He says growers need predictability from Washington on what crop protection products will be available for the coming season and a realistic definition of the jurisdiction of water and land under the Clean Water Act.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the price discovery issue and the disparity between what producers are receiving for their animals and what consumers are paying for beef from the meat case. Consolidation in the meatpacking industry has drawn the most criticism, but analysis by academia and economists on Capitol Hill point to a number of different sources for the imbalance. In this interview, Woodall discusses the challenge before the industry and implications of certain proposals as well as the need for growth in the global trade arena.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Krysta Harden, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Harden began her tenure as leader of the group last year and is the third president of USDEC since it was formed in 1995 by Dairy Management Incorporated. Competition in global dairy trade is fierce, but Harden says U.S. farmers who produce high-quality products and ingredients are gaining global market share. She says shipping woes plague dairy exports and threaten to have a lasting impact on global customers. Internet shopping is helping grow demand for U.S. dairy as is a more health-conscious customer base worldwide. Harden is encouraged by a recent trade ruling against Canada’s dairy policy and hopes the Biden administration can be aggressive in supporting additional trade opportunities for U.S. milk producers.