This week’s guest on Open Mic is Senator Blanche Lincoln, Founder of the Lincoln Policy Group in Washington. After a 16 year career representing constituents in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Lincoln is lending her voice to the Farmers for Free Trade Coalition in support of the USMCA trade deal and concern over the country’s protectionist attitude with global trading partners. Lincoln shares the concerns of farmers and the supporting industry over the Trump administration’s use of tariffs and the need to see congressional approval of the USMCA trade agreement as well as a resolution to the trade war with China.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. Just back from leading a bipartisan delegation of Congressional leaders to Central and South America, the Minnesota 7th District Representative reports his observations of crop production, foreign investment and meetings with new elected leaders. Here at home, Peterson shares his frustration with approving disaster legislation, implementing dairy policy and the challenge of funding policy to support farmers and repair the country’s failing infrastructure.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tina May, Senior Director of Sustainability at Land O’Lakes. Sustainability has become a priority for Land O’ Lakes Cooperative and is also being embraced by more consumers. In this interview May outlines the cooperative’s efforts to meet growing consumer demand for sustainable farming practices while helping farmers incorporate new innovation, technology and industry partnerships to maintain profitability in their operations. She also discusses policy implications in states like California and nationally.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The 900 member cooperatives of the NRECA have a keen eye on potential infrastructure legislation that may come before the 116th Congress. After serving seven terms in the House of Representatives, Matheson hopes a good portion of those funds will be directed to rural zip codes and pointed toward more than roads and bridges. Matheson speaks to a Trump administration proposal to sell some PMA assets, a need for investment in rural broadband and how potential climate change legislation could affect system reliability and affordability of electric service to rural America.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Following an open forum with farmers in Georgetown, Kentucky last week, Administrator Wheeler discussed the growing issue of food waste, an update on allowing E-15 sales all year, small refinery waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard, the next steps in approving new Waters of the U.S. regulations, glyphosate safety and thoughts on legislative and regulatory responses to address climate change.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC, and North American Regional Director. In this interview Hollinrake discusses the consolidation trend of both farmers and global agriculture and the technological advances which will enable farmers to sustainably produce more crops with fewer inputs. A number of studies suggest an even smaller universe of farmers will produce an even greater percentage of total food output. The paradigm shift suggests world class competition among companies to bring innovation to a shrinking customer base. Hollinrake identifies both the opportunities and challenges for companies and the customers they serve.