This week’s interview features Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Ambassador Vetter expects a positive year for global trade with the anticipated congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPA) agreement and conclusion of the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks. Vetter responds to speculation of a potential challenge of U.S. policy for soybean risk protection and possible trade reaction to a pending USDA decision to designate cottonseed as an oilseed. While bothU.S. export volume and value may be lower, Vetter believes agricultural trade will be less affected by global economics than other products.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Gary Adams, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council. In this update you’ll hear why the industry is calling on a cottonseed designation from the USDA and concerns the cotton and textile industry have with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. While the 2014 Farm Bill provided greater risk management tools for farmers, many producers may be challenged to secure financing for this season’s production. Adams also explains the cotton industry’s concerns with USDA’s definitions of those deemed actively engaged in farming.
This week’s Open Mic guest is American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. In this interview, Stallman reflects on his tenure as leader of the nation’s largest general farm organization and many of the changes that occurred. Stallman discusses accomplishments in the last session of Congress and identifies ominous challenges still facing the industry on Capitol Hill and in courtrooms across the country. The Texas farmer and rancher shares thoughts on the debate over GMO labeling, comprehensive tax reform, risk management and why EPA water quality regulations are such a threat to private property rights
Our guest on this edition of Agri-Pulse Open Mic is Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). The seed industry is among many groups hoping Washington will approve legislation to establish a national voluntary GMO labeling standard. In this in-depth interview, Andy LaVigne discusses industry implications if Congress fails to develop national guidelines to override state statutes and how the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is the first to acknowledge seed technology in global commerce. LaVigne says plant breeding technology is developing faster than government regulatory systems with potential consequences for both farmers and consumers. Finally, LaVigne offers thoughts on recent company mergers.
Iowa Congressman David Young discusses the wins and losses for agriculture in last week’s congressional action on spending and taxes in this week's Open Mic. While agriculture failed to see language to stop the EPA from enforcing its WOTUS regulations and couldn’t establish a national standard for voluntary GM food labeling, he shares other policy victories on taxes and renewable fuels. For the year ahead, Young discuss his goals for comprehensive tax reform, continued support for renewable energy, the potential for a multi-year budget process and he shares some pointed questions for 2016 presidential candidates when they visit his home state of Iowa.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Rep. Collin Peterson, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee. In this interview, the Minnesota Democrat shares his concerns with the current farm law and on how farmers are using its risk management tools. Peterson identifies what he sees as two flaws in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and shares his thoughts following a recent hearing on the Farm Credit System. Peterson says it’s too soon to pass judgement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and believes it may be an uphill battle to find congressional approval.