This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Robb Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto. On the sidelines of last week’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, Fraley discussed the convergence of biological science and data technology in an era defined as “Modern Agriculture”. In this interview Fraley reflects on the evolution of genetic enhancement and the opportunities that will frame the future of farming as well as how gene editing is changing modern medicine and agriculture. Fraley talks openly about the introduction of dicamba resistant crops this year and perspective of complaints that have been reported across the country.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Alan Tracy, immediate past president of U.S. Wheat Associates. In this interview, Tracy describes how quality has replaced politics as the key driver of global market access. Tracy isn’t ready to define the Trump trade bias as isolationist, but shares concern about the administration's global trade agenda. While congressional agriculture committees appear closer to marking up a new farm bill, Tracy says wheat and other agriculture groups are hopeful for increased Title 3 spending.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Paul Drazek, a veteran agricultural trade consultant and partner with DTB Associates. The Trump trade agenda has drawn concern from the agriculture community as the administration’s hard line stance on existing trade deals threatens access to a growing world population and potentially, farm income opportunities. In this interview, Drazek shares thoughts on the Trump team's bi-lateral trade strategy, how to deal with China on trade disputes and the best possible outcome from the NAFTA re-negotiation.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is John Becherer, CEO of the United Soybean Board. After more than 20 years of service to farmer leaders who oversee the nation’s soybean checkoff, Becherer will step down from his post at the end of 2017. In this interview, Becherer highlights two decades of growth as well as the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the soybean industry. As checkoffs face greater scrutiny, Becherer defends the farmer-led programs. Recently recognized as one of the top association executives, Becherer talks about what he’s learned association management.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Todd Van Hoose, President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council. Farmers and ranchers across the country continue to struggle in a down farm economy. In this week’s interview, Van Hoose emphasizes the need for a new farm bill with risk protection including Title One and crop insurance to see producers through this downturn. Van Hoose explains the need for change in the FSA loan program, expanded funding for rural development and an expansion of market access for U.S. commodities around the world.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator John Hoeven. Severe drought in his home state and across the Northern Plains heightens the need to secure risk management tools to protect farmers and ranchers. As agriculture chair on the Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven says the budget will be a challenge in writing a new farm bill. The North Dakota Republican says agriculture has a strong message to share on budget savings and a real need for protection given current challenges from revenue and potentially from global trade.