This week’s guest on Open Mic is Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts. The 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Trump last week in the White House. Kansas U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and leaders of the conference committee crafted a bill that received overwhelming support on both sides of the Capitol. Senator Roberts says the evolutionary bill was diversified and the best language that leaders could offer. In this interview Roberts addresses some of the key provisions of the bill and speaks to the effort of working with the USDA to implement the new legislation. Roberts is hopeful 2018 will bring legislative success to other key issues for the nation.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. Since assuming the lead of the group in October, Cooper says the producer group is focused on increasing demand by breaking down legislative and regulatory barriers preventing real growth in the industry. Cooper comments on the financial hardship caused by the Trump EPA’s small refinery waivers to the RFS and shares thoughts on a legislative proposal to phase out the RFS in favor of a shift to higher octane standards in the nation’s fuel supply. Cooper says year round availability of E-15 blends will be most welcomed by producers, retailers and consumers across the country.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union. As Washington appears closer to approving new farm policy, Johnson fears the policy won’t be enough to protect farmers in the current market environment. He offers a strong opinion on the Trump administration’s trade policy with China and offers guarded support for the newly signed USMCA. For 2019, Johnson sees an opportunity for better legislation from both sides of the political aisle.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. In this interview, the Georgia farmer talks about catastrophic disaster in the country and the need for standard policy to address the lasting impact of natural disasters. Duvall hopes for a new farm bill before the end of the year and quick resolution to trade issues that have wreaked havoc on commodity prices and farm income. He also highlights the upcoming 100th anniversary convention of the AFBF in New Orleans and issues that will be considered by the delegate body in January.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Carrie Calvert, Managing Director of Government Relations for Feeding America. Despite the country’s surplus of food production, more than 12 percent of the nation’s population is food insecure. In this interview, Calvert weighs in on the nation’s nutrition assistance debate, the need for a farm bill, and Feeding America’s effort to deal with food waste. Calvert reports on how surplus food purchases under the Trump trade assistance program is helping provide much needed help to food banks across the nation.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Rod Hebrink, President and CEO of Compeer Financial. The lack of certainty from a new farm bill and weak commodity prices due to lost export markets and robust supplies have left farmers and lenders with a grim outlook for 2019. In this interview, Hebrink discusses the challenge of the unknown and the need for legislators and the White House to take action on farm policy, trade and regulations to help rural America prepare for the year ahead.