Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C.

Duration: 23:09

This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C. In his first term representing the state’s first district, Davis finds himself not only on the House Ag Committee but also helping to lead a bipartisan task force focused on agriculture labor issues and a farm bill task force of the New Democrat Coalition. Davis sees agriculture and rural issues as a priority for his district and the nation, but not the highest priority among elected leaders in Washington. Davis is committed to workable environmental policy for farmers and is anxious to see how the Biden administration will handle Waters of the United States rulemaking.


Dan Basse, AgResource

Duration: 25:27

This week’s Open Mic guest is Dan Basse, president of AgResource. As Congress prepares to write a new farm bill, Basse says the industry is seeing domestication of market structure. Despite regulatory headwinds from Washington, Basse believes demand for renewable energy feedstocks will command a greater presence in price discovery. Globally, Brazil may be nearing an end to its rapid expansion of production area while the Russian invasion may see a tremendous decline in Ukraine grain production. Basse sees India as a rising opportunity for U.S. ag exports while China remains a wild card with both production and imports.


Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association

Duration: 24:13

This week’s Open Mic guest is Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. The Biden administration’s vehicle emissions rulemaking is drawing fire from oil and agriculture industry groups over concerns the rule would be a de-facto ban on internal combustion engines in the future. RFA is one of more than 100 groups that wrote President Joe Biden recently asking for liquid transportation fuels and various engine technologies to be a part of the solution to meet the nation’s goals for reducing emissions. Cooper laments headwinds for renewable fuels from the last three administrations and says it’s time for legislation to define the regulatory role of the EPA.

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Jim Matheson, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO

Duration: 24:37

This week’s Open Mic guest is Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. After an extended tenure of serving his constituents in Utah in the U.S. House of Representatives, Matheson assumed the reins of the NRECA in 2016. Rural residents formed their own electric cooperatives in the 1930’s to bring electric service to their homes and communities. Today, those same member owned organizations serve over half of the land mass in the nation and more than 42-million customers. Matheson speaks to the challenges of meeting growing demand for electric power including electric generation and transmission. He is in favor of renewable energy sources but says the nation needs reliable power generation in the face of growing demand from industry, homes and an influx of electric vehicles. Matheson says the digital divide is real in rural America and the NRECA is working to close the digital gap for the sake of health care, education, precision agriculture and rural development.


House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson

Duration: 24:49

This week’s Open Mic guest is House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson. After spending time with yet another farm bill listening session, the Pennsylvania Republican spent time reflecting on listening sessions in 40 states. Thompson says it’s evident that farm programs provide critical risk management tools in every state as well as conservation programs, food safety and nutrition. He acknowledges the financial obstacles of writing new farm policy but shares thoughts of pulling funds from various resources to fund programs. Thompson also shares insights from a labor task force he has appointed to survey agriculture’s need for an adequate workforce.


NPPC President Scott Hays

Duration: 22:12

This week’s Open Mic guest is Scott Hays, president of the National Pork Producers Council. As a fifth-generation pig farmer from Missouri, Hays says he’s gratified to see his children taking over the operation, but he recognizes the challenges facing his family and other operations across the country are more onerous than ever before. The economic climate has red ink flowing for producers this year with additional pressure coming from more regulations, challenging global market access, the threat of foreign animal disease and a lack of available labor. In this interview, Hays shares challenges and opportunities facing pig farmers in the nation today.