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.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. The Illinois Democrat will serve on the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee and discusses the many challenges of resolving differences in the respective proposals including SNAP work requirements, conservation programs and farm support payment limits. Bustos agrees the U.S. should work toward free and fair trade, but disagrees with the Trump administration’s tariff policy. Bustos supports comprehensive immigration reform and is counting on a leadership change in the mid-term elections to bring better policy and a different result.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Congressman Rodney Davis. The Illinois Republican is a co-sponsor of pending immigration reform bill and shares his frustration with approving legislation to allow an adequate agriculture workforce. As a member of the farm bill conference committee, Davis strongly supports policy provisions in the House language and is ready to work with Senate leaders to resolve the two bills. Davis says the nutrition reform debate should be more about investing in job training than possible changes to assistance eligibility. Davis supports President Trump’s effort to bring change to global trade but fears the ill effects of an extended trade war on agriculture and the U.S. economy.