Rep. Glenn Thompson, who represents Pennsylvania's most rural district, also chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry. In this weeks' Agri-Pulse Open Mic, the GOP Congressman talks about the 2012 farm bill that's expected to move forward in the House Agriculture Committee on July 11 and how he hopes to strengthen voluntary, conservation programs in what will be his first farm bill. Thompson, who describes farmers as "the original environmentalists" also calls for a smaller, leaner and more effective Environmental Protection Agency, which he describes as currently "out of control. "
With the world's population expected to grow to nearly nine billion by 2050, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that global food production must double by that time. Our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic, Jay Vroom, talks about the important role that science-based, modern farming practices, which use fewer inputs while leading to increased productivity, can play in feeding a growing, hungry world. As President and CEO of CropLife America, he also talks about challenges the industry is facing with herbicide and weed resistance and why he has invited some of the industrys biggest critics to annual dialogues with his members. And with the presidential election less than five months away, Vroom talks about the importance of the rural vote
With 2012 designated as the International Year of Cooperatives, Chuck Conner, CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives has been busy sharing the benefits of farmer-owned cooperatives. In this weeks Open Mic, taped June 1, he also talks about the need to resolve regional differences in the 2012 farm bill writing process. Conner brings a unique perspective to this issue. For nearly 20 years, he served on the staff of Senator Richard Lugar and was the staff director of the Senate Agriculture Committee during the 1996 farm bill process. Prior to joining NCFC from 2005-2008, he was Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at USDA and helped lead development of President George W. Bush Administrations Farm Bill proposal. He also talks about Sen. Lugar's stunning defeat in the Indiana GOP primary and Gov. Romneys presidential campaign.
Six years ago, Amy Klobuchar became the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate. Today, the former chief prosecutor in the states largest county joins us on Agri-Pulse Open Mic. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she talks about the vote last week to advance the 2012 farm bill and her expectations for amendments on crop insurance and other issues. She also points to the importance of getting a farm bill passed this year in order to keep the rural economy strong and her perspective on future trade agreements.
Our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic is Arkansas Senator John Boozman, a freshman member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, who voted against passage of the 2012 Farm Bill in committee. He talks about ongoing negotiations in the U.S. Senate and his expectations for a southern farm safety net that offers more flexibility for growers of all types. The former cattle rancher also shares his concerns over food stamps, crop insurance and other aspects of the farm bill, as well as his frustrations over U.S. energy policy.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic. Broadcaster Ken Root sat down with Vilsack to discuss his approach to on-farm regulatory issues and efforts to improve water quality, including the potential for ecosystem markets. He talks about the 2012 Farm Bill and differences between the House and Senate version and details the Obama Administrations views on trimming crop insurance subsidies. While the farm economy is currently booming, the former Iowa Governor describes his biggest fear for the future.