This week’s guest on Open Mic is Erin Fitzgerald, CEO of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. In her short tenure at the head of this group, Fitzgerald notes a tremendous disparity between what’s being said about food production and its real environmental impact. Fitzgerald responds to some familiar attacks on food production and redirects attention to areas where all consumers can play a role in environmental stewardship. The USFRA has a new lead of its Science Advisory Council and has announced new initiatives including the Science to Sense Marketing Program and the Honor the Harvest Forum coming later this year.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Canadian Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay. Agri-Pulse’s Spencer Chase spoke with the distinguished agriculture leader at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. In this interview, MacAulay shares optimism that his country’s farmers can expand income by satisfying increased global demand for food. MacAulay says Canada wants free and fair trade with no tariffs and no barriers. MacAulay speaks to the USMCA’s implications on their dairy industry, their displeasure with U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and the need for governments to accept sound science and provide farmers the tools they need to boost production and maintain profitability.
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 discusses the two biggest issues facing his industry: trade and acceptance of new technology. LaVigne applauds the Trump administration for taking on longstanding obstacles to fair trade and a new information partnership with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Innovature is a new platform designed to encourage conversations around innovation in food and agriculture. LaVigne says the initial focus is on gene editing which he says can help preserve the planet, improve consumer health, and increase food production.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Congressman James Comer. As one of only a few active farmers serving in the 116th Congress, the Kentucky 1st District Representative is committed to educating members of the new House leadership about the impacts pending legislation could have on family farmers. In this interview, Comer addresses the Green New Deal proposal, speaks to border security and immigration reform and hopes for an expedited conclusion to trade negotiations opening markets for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Gary Adams, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council. The 2018 rewrite of the nation’s farm bill provides a better safety net for fiber crop producers, but Adams says the cotton industry needs less retaliation and more market access to global trade partners. In this interview Adams identifies key market opportunities, highlights policy initiatives for the 116th Congress, and the dire need for disaster assistance for growers from last year’s hurricanes.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is US. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Speaking on the sidelines of the American Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans earlier this month, the former state agriculture commissioner spoke in support of the new farm bill and the Trump trade initiatives. Hyde-Smith believes the pain of the current trade war will return better export opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers in seasons to come. Hyde-Smith stands behind President Trump’s efforts to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and introduced legislation last week to use a portion of Chinese tariff revenues to fund border security.