This week’s guest on Open Mic is Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union. Earlier this year the North Dakota native announced he’ll not seek re-election. Johnson and NFU support policy to keep more farmers on the land and remain concerned about the economic health of rural America. Johnson offers his thoughts on agriculture’s place at the table on climate policy, his frustration with the EPA’s administration of the renewable fuels standard and challenges developing the next farm bill.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Incorporated. Headlines from the dairy industry would suggest a sector under siege with a loss of fluid milk processors and dairy farmers. Gallagher says there are positives to discuss in consumer demand, but the industry needs a paradigm shift to meet a health-conscious consumer’s changing lifestyle. He outlines the group’s 2030 plan, speaks to the challenge the checkoff program faces from animal rights activists and more.
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.