Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Saturday, October 01, 2022

Agri-Pulse Open Mic Interview

In depth interviews with leaders in ag policy
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Scott Fritz, Chair, World Soy Foundation

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03-17-2014
Indiana farmer Scott Fritz has served in many capacities within the U.S. soybean Industry but says his current role is the most satisfying because the Soy Foundation is feeding hungry children in many developing nations and showing the way to greater food independence. As U.S. farmers celebrate Ag Day this week, Fritz is one of several farmers focused on helping feed the hungry both in the U.S. and around the globe. "Helping children is close to my heart; it's a heartwarming feeling," Fritz says. "We as farmers take pride in our product, but being able to turn around and help other people. That's what it's all about." He shares how sow cows help feed school children and teach others to develop their own businesses.

Scott Fritz

Michael Toscano, CEO AUVSI

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03-03-2014
"They aren't Drones" is the first statement from Michael Toscano, President and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), when asked about one of the newest and perhaps most controversial new tools for farmers and ranchers. He says the mission of these vehicles, aerial or terrestrial, is peaceful and offers a great advancement in scouting, service, and efficiency. Toscano explores the issues farmers will face in operating the first generation of small aircraft that are designed to gather data and transmit it back to a ground base in an era where "Big Data" has become a huge concern. In this forward-looking discussions, he also looks at "blue sky" ideas that may result in an entirely new platform for business activity."They aren't Drones" is the first statement from Michael Toscano, President and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), when asked about one of the newest and perhaps most controversial new tools for farmers and ranchers. He says the mission of these vehicles, aerial or terrestrial, is peaceful and offers a great advancement in scouting, service, and efficiency. Toscano explores the issues farmers will face in operating the first generation of small aircraft that are designed to gather data and transmit it back to a ground base in an era where "Big Data" has become a huge concern. In this forward-looking discussions, he also looks at "blue sky" ideas that may result in an entirely new platform for business activity.

Michael Toscano

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John Miller, VP for Agricultural Operations BNSF

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02-24-2014
The trains are running slow in this very cold winter but the BNSF Railway plans for speeding up service and building up in the years ahead, says John Miller, Group Vice President for Agricultural Operations. He explains a number of factors slowing down shipments this winter, discusses 'grain in the box' and previews the very large capital expenditures they are making to improve and expand their hauling capabilities. Miller's past experience includes serving as president of Bartlett Grain in Kansas City.

John Miller

Gregg Doud, Pres. Commodity Markets Council

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02-17-2014
Gregg Doud is president of the Commodity Markets Council (formerly known as the Grain Trade Council). His organization is focused on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and rules that it is considering, as well as the re-authorization process and appointing three new commissioners. Doud comes from a strong agricultural background. He served as Chief Economist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee staff for Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) specializing in issues relating to the CFTC. Doud questions the lack of agricultural understanding at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the range of initiatives that could redefine hedging and contracting in the United States and Europe.

Gregg Doud

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Chairman Frank Lucas - R -OK

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02-10-2014
"It was almost a miracle," said Congressman Frank Lucas, chair of the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee and chair of the House/Senate Conference Committee, regarding passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. In this week's Open MIc, Lucas details several provisions of the bill plus implementation and potential government exposure if commodity prices fall. He also responds to news media mockery of the bill over obscure provisions and discusses his political future in Oklahoma after compromising on several key provisions to gain passage of the bill.

Chairman Frank Lucas

Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS

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02-03-2014
As the U.S. Senate prepares to approve a new farm bill this week, supporters and critics are still weighing in on key provisions in the 949-page package. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, understands the difficult dynamics involved with gaining approval of complex food and farm legislation, having served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in 1996 when "Freedom to Farm" was adopted and as ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee when deliberations first started on the present bill in 2011. Even though he is pleased with changes made to enhance crop insurance, Roberts explains why he continues to have long-standing concerns about the commodity title and is likely to vote against the Agricultural Act of 2014 this week.

Senator Pat Roberts