Shining Light on Farm & Food Policy for 20 Years. Monday, July 15, 2024

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
Subscribe to this Podcast

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.

Duration: 22:54

This week’s Open Mic guest is Congressman Jim Costa. The California Democrat represents the agriculture rich 21st district of the state. Costa is hopeful new leadership in the House will lead to compromise on fiscal and agriculture policy. Costa shares concerns about the “pay fors” needed for a new farm bill but says minority members on the Agriculture committee will not support cuts to either nutrition programs or IRA conservation funds. Costa says he would support an extension of the 2018 farm bill, but says legislators should forge ahead with a new farm bill as soon as possible.


Jason Clay, World Wildlife Fund

Duration: 25:33

This week’s Open Mic guest is Jason Clay, executive director of the Markets Institute for the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF has worked for more than 60 years in over 100 countries with a mission of helping people and nature survive. Clay’s roots stretch back to a family farm, and his vision is that of helping to ensure an adequate supply of food for generations to come. He says the response to climate change must be to develop gains in efficiency and productivity to meet the growing demand for food. On ag policy, Clay says the group supports modern farming practices and large-scale agriculture and is actively involved in lobbying for a new farm bill with certain changes in program outcomes.


Todd Wilkinson, NCBA

Duration: 26:16

This week’s Open Mic guest is Todd Wilkinson, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The South Dakota producer is glad to see the profitability pendulum swing back in the beef producer's favor. He is concerned about the health of the overall industry during this period of herd rebuilding. Wilkinson sees much riding on the approval of a new farm bill from a producer protection standpoint as well as critical conservation programs. He and other industry members are just back from the World Meat Congress where antagonists to the meat industry were well defined.


Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla.

Duration: 23:27

This week’s Open Mic guest is Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla. The House Ag Committee member has joined her colleagues in the search for new leadership, but also believes many of her fellow Republicans could benefit from a reexamination of their approach to governing. Cammack has taken a special interest in the issue of broadband service for rural America, and with a new farm bill in the works, Cammack discusses some commodity program changes that would be a major benefit to her home state.


Dave Puglia, Western Growers

Duration: 22:50

This week’s Open Mic guest is Dave Puglia, president and CEO of Western Growers. Challenges to the fresh produce industry are too numerous to mention, but food safety, an adequate workforce, water supply, crop protection tools and regulations continue to impact the future for Western Growers. Still, Puglia says legislators cannot simply “rubber stamp” an extension of the 2018 farm bill. Puglia laments the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and shares his concern for the leadership shake-up in the House of Representatives.


Tim Lust, National Sorghum Producers

Duration: 24:54

This week’s Open Mic guest is Tim Lust, CEO of the National Sorghum Producers. Like other farmers, the nation’s sorghum producers are looking to Capitol Hill for an updated farm bill with adequate risk management tools to negotiate many financial, climate and market-based challenges. Lust says Washington has been tardy in delivering promised disaster relief funds much to the detriment of growers still facing dry soils. In this interview, Lust discusses regulatory challenges and market opportunities including renewable fuels and climate-based revenue options.