Bill Northey is a fourth generation farmer from Spirit Lake, Iowa who serves as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and also as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Taking a break from planting, he explains NASDA's perspective on the 2012 Farm Bill and discusses future challenges ahead with conservation and water quality. He also talks about the impact that social media and other communication tools has had on lean finely textured beef, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, and new varieties of biotech seed corn.
In this week’s edition of Open Mic, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway discusses what promises to be a frantic start to December as the U.S. Congress faces a deadline to approve omnibus appropriations legislation. Chairman Conaway is intent to see protection from budget cuts for the farm bill and crop insurance. In this interview, Conaway calls for administrative changes in the farm bill to help cotton farmers, discusses how the threat of trade retaliation from COOL is already affecting commerce with Canada, and the committee’s work to review the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.