This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. As the Senate Ag Ranking member, Stabenow is preparing to host the committee’s second field hearing this Saturday at Michigan State. In this interview Stabenow discusses option of rewriting new policy or tweaking current farm programs, increasing idled acres under the Conservation Reserve Program and including urban agriculture in the farm bill. Senator Stabenow shares concern with the Trump trade policy, frustration over the administration’s budget proposal and support for new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dan Basse, President of AgResource Company. Congress will soon write a new farm bill in a much different global agriculture climate. In this interview, Basse discusses the challenge of crafting policy for an industry plagued with oversupply and the threat of even lower crop prices. Basse discusses options like supply management and acreage reduction and how President Trump’s trade agenda plays into the challenges facing U.S. farmers and ranchers.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Darren Ash, Chief Information officer for the Farm Service Agency. As legislators prepare to write new farm policy, work is already underway at the USDA to receive, store, manage and share data to implement the new plan. The National Ag Imagery Program includes up to date aerial photography as well as digitizing over a half century of farm images to be used by various federal agencies.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Congressman John Shimkus, who represents the 15th district in Illinois. He talks about the challenges his fellow GOP leaders face in changing Washington. As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Shimkus discusses a rewrite of the Renewable Fuel Standard and how he views the Trump administration’s role in making needed improvements in the nation’s infrastructure as well as reform of WOTUS regulations.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association. In this week’s interview LaVigne describes an industry in a state of regulatory flux. Decisions are pending on regulations proposed under the Obama administration and anticipated under the Trump administration on biotech labeling and approval of new techniques in plant breeding. LaVigne shares industry concerns on global trade agreements and goals for the 2018 farm bill.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In this interview, the Kentucky Republican shares thoughts on this year’s legislative outlook including immigration reform, corporate tax reform and the challenges endured by the coal industry. McConnell says the status quo on “Obamacare” is not sustainable and the “ball is in his court,” when it comes to President Trump and new trade agreements.