This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. The Missouri Republican believes the nation is on the cusp of major decisions that could wreak havoc or provide great opportunities for growth for the nation’s economy. In this week’s interview, Blunt discusses Congressional challenges including uncertainty in the House Speakers post, obstacles to an agreement on spending, long term funding options for highway infrastructure and the outlook for Senate action on GMO labeling and Country of Origin Labeling.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Wisconsin Representative Reid Ribble. The 8th district Republican left the Freedom Caucus last week in the fallout from a failed attempt to elect a new House Speaker. In this week’s interview, Ribble outlines challenges the Congress faces in approving a spending plan and his efforts to bring about a two-year budget cycle. He sees action soon on the nation’s debt ceiling and tax extenders but says the bigger issue lies between liberal Senate Democrats and conservative GOP leaders on spending. Ribble strongly opposes the EPA’s new clean water rules but supports a new voluntary program to reduce nutrient runoff in his home state.
This week’s Open Mic features Oklahoma State University’s Dr. Jayson Lusk who has conducted extensive research on consumer attitudes toward food safety and acceptance of new technologies. Proposed labeling legislation over foods that contain ingredients from GMO crops has proven to be a polar issue that may see attention in the US Senate. In this interview, Dr. Lusk discusses the consumer cost of mandatory food labels, the social and economic implications on agriculture research and technologies and the retailers reaction to consumer food buying trends.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Texas farmer Wade Cowan, President of the American Soybean Association. In this interview you’ll hear a farmers perspective on global trading relationships, the threat of a government shutdown and biotech labeling legislation. Cowan spent time with the Chinese officials last week in New Orleans and is optimistic for more productive discussions between the two countries. Cowan previews his testimony on food aid before the House Agriculture Committee this week. He is intently interested in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership talks this week in Atlanta and shares his view on a successful conclusion to the negotiations.
An upcoming merger of two major agriculture businesses will not only boost competitiveness for some of the country’s independent retailers but also join resources to bring new technologies in crop protection, nutrient management, and sustainable agriculture for farmers. In this week’s Open Mic Dan Knutson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Land O’ Lakes explains how the two-step merger of United Suppliers with Land O’ Lakes' Winfield business is a “merger of equals” combining the technology and resources of both companies to grow farm productivity despite lower returns and a maze of regulatory hurdles, like WOTUS.
This week’s Open Mic Guest is Dr. J.B. Penn, Chief Economist for Deere and Company. A golden era in U.S. agriculture appears to have passed. In this interview you’ll hear Dr. Penn’s thoughts on a new economic normal for U.S. agriculture, including his perspective on renewable fuels, and insight into a pending domestic interest rate increase. Dr. Penn discusses the challenge Chinese authorities face in managing a slowing instead of a growing economy and how their success or failure affects U.S. agriculture.