This week’s guest on Open Mic is Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts. With time running short before the expiration of current farm policy, the Kansas Republican leader says he and the other primary leaders of the farm bill conference committee continue to work toward a resolution to challenging issues in policy reform including nutrition assistance work requirements. Roberts offers thoughts on the Trump trade agenda including TPP and speaks to plans that would relocate some segments of USDA out of the DC area.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Representative Steve King. The Iowa Republican offers insight to Congressional budget decisions that must be resolved before the end of the fiscal year and is less optimistic that farm bill conferees will meet the deadline for a new set of farm laws. King say he and voters in the Iowa 4th district support the Trump trade agenda, but fear the consequences of a trade war that lasts into the new year. King is outspoken on his Protecting Interstate Commerce Act and doesn’t believe immigration reform will be accomplished in this Congress.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Jennifer Ozimkiewicz, North American Regional Marketing Manager for Bayer Crop Science. After a near two year journey, Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto came to a conclusion just days before the opening of the 2018 Farm Progress Show. In this interview, Ozimkiewicz discusses how product strengths and the research capacity of both companies may lead to more rapid development and approval of products to boost farm productivity. She also discussed litigation against glyphosate, the need for the continued approval of dicamba herbicide in crop protection and efforts to enhance consumer acceptance of new science in agriculture.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson. The Minnesota Democrat is clearly focused on the Farm Bill Conference Committee and completion of the 2018 Farm Bill by the September 30 deadline. Peterson offers an update on the work to date on the compromise language and outlines some of the biggest challenges House and Senate leaders face in completing the bill. Peterson says time is of the essence and he’s not willing to talk about missing the legislative mark. He also shares his concerns about China and international trade.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Michele Simon, Executive Director for the Plant Based Foods Association. From their launch two years ago, the group has seen tremendous membership growth among companies that provide plant based alternatives to meat, eggs and milk. Nielsen data suggest a 20 percent growth in the industry last year. While traditional meat and dairy groups lobby Washington to crack down on labeling of plant based products, Simon says it’s the companies that should provide labeling solutions not government agencies that often represent other interests.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Ken Dallmier, President and COO of Clarkson Grain Company. While the global grain business is dominated by supply, demand and now trade wars, this Illinois-based company functions under a customer-focused mindset. Dallmier says this generation of consumer demand is dominated by a different set of social values leading to questions over the way food is produced and the prices they’re willing to pay. Sustainability, organic and non-GMO are providing farmers an income stream isolated from traditional market forces.