This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Senator Jon Tester. In this interview the Montana Democrat gives an update on drought conditions that are gripping his home state. Tester says the Trump administration’s comments on trade could easily be interpreted as a shift to protectionism. He fears the U.S. will fall behind by pursuing only bi-lateral trade agreements. Tester favors a strong farm safety net including crop insurance and discusses the need for adequate funding for rural development.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Tom Sleight, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. Access to global markets is critical to the success of America’s agriculture industry. Global trading partners are accusing the Trump administration of shifting to a more protectionist trade attitude meanwhile pursuing bi-lateral and multi-later trade accords without the U.S. In this interview, Sleight responds to trade rhetoric and identifies other challenges the U.S. faces in maintaining global market share. Sleight also previews the group’s upcoming Summer meeting in Vancouver.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is U.S. Representative Rodney Davis. The Illinois Republican says the task ahead of crafting a new farm bill is easier because of the success of the current legislation that saved billions and provided effective risk management tools for farmers. As a sub-committee chair on the House Agriculture Committee, Davis discusses the need for funding ag research, his thoughts on reorganizing USDA and objectives for reopening the NAFTA trade agreement.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Kentucky First District Representative James Comer. The Kentucky Republican is one of a few elected officials who actively farms for a living and recognizes the challenge of approving new farm policy. In this interview, Comer discusses proposed budget cuts on agriculture and nutrition programs and Medicaid. Comer says the Dodd Frank legislation has hurt his district and may prevent farmers access to loans next year. As a beef producer, Comer supports efforts to protect livestock farmers but admits funding is an issue.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Terry O’Neel, President of the National Pork Board. The Nebraska hog farmer says growth is the key word for the U.S. Swine industry with increased global demand and expanded offerings for pork at restaurants across the country. In this interview O’Neel shares a new direction for product promotion, the Pork Board’s proactive effort to maintain a secure pork supply and pork producer outreach to a new generation of pork consumers.
This week’s guest on Open Mic is Dr. Sally Rockey, Executive Director for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to further the work of the Department of Agriculture by identifying potential immediate and long term researchable questions that could bring stability and growth to the nation’s food supply as well as find matching funds to maximize taxpayer dollars in research. As the Senate Ag Committee focuses on the farm bill research title this week, the FFAR will make its case for reauthorization in the upcoming farm bill to continue efforts to build partnerships asking the right questions for solutions to propel the ag industry forward.