This week’s guest on Open Mic is Matthew Lohr, Chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The discussion over agriculture sustainability is leading to a renewed interest and support for NRCS and many programs farmers and ranchers utilize to preserve natural resources. The Virginia poultry farmer comments on the relationship between EPA and USDA and speaks to the future of voluntary participation in conservation programs. Natural disasters have devastated farms and ranches across the country and Lohr comments on how NRCS is cooperating with other government agencies to help farmers recover from their tremendous losses.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Syngenta CEO Erik Fyrwald. With a global goal of sustainable productivity, Syngenta continues to invest in innovation for global agriculture. In this interview, Fyrwald addresses the need for advances in technology to produce more food while protecting the environment and the need for litigation reform. Fyrwald says modern, sustainable agriculture needs a brand to communicate positive steps farmers and industry are taking to meet the needs of a growing planet.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is David Perry, CEO of Indigo Ag. CNBC put Indigo at the top of their “2019 Disruptor List”. Perry’s company has a global presence and has raised $650 million dollars in their effort to grow farm productivity and reduce carbon emissions through patented innovation in microbial science. Raised on a crop farm in Arkansas, Perry believes his company’s production paradigm can cut chemical fertilizer use in half and reduce pesticide use by 90 percent. Indigo’s “Terraton Initiative” would put agriculture in the lead to resolve global climate change issues.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Georgia 2nd District Representative Sanford Bishop. As Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations Subcommittee chair, Bishop is pleased with the full committee’s work on the FY20 spending bills. Bishop admits the lack of progress in the Senate could delay timely approval of funds for the coming fiscal year and says it is highly likely that legislators will need to approve additional disaster funds for regions still attempting to recover from natural disasters.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst. She has seen firsthand the devastating impact of severe flooding in her region and shares concern with other farmers about the wet season that has forced late planting across the Midwest. In this interview, Ernst discusses the need for additional disaster assistance, reform of farm bankruptcy rules, and funding of a second round of MFP funds for farmers and ranchers. Ernst remains in close contact with President Trump on trade policy and praises the administration’s efforts to allow for year-round sales of E-15 blended gasoline.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. John Newton, Chief Economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation. In this interview, Newton offers insight on how weather, trade conflicts, and surplus commodities have wreaked havoc on the nation’s farm and ranch community. Newton says farmers need details of the disaster assistance and market facilitation programs as well as amendments to bankruptcy laws. Newton outlines the challenges of an antiquated dairy program and calls for additional funds for ag research.