Open Mic Replay - An Extensive Catalog of Our Audio Interviews

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Jim Costa
Representative Jim Costa, D-Calif., is a third generation farmer who is serving his ninth year in Congress. As he and his fellow members of the House Agriculture Committee start work on a new farm bill in May, he expresses optimism that compromises can be reached on contentious issues like SNAP and dairy reform and that there will be enough Democrats voting for the bill to ensure passage in 2013. He also discusses reform of our nation's immigration laws and the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Rosa DeLauro
Congressman Rosa DeLauro has strong opinions about hunger in America, farm programs, crop insurance and food safety. Her views offer insight into the challenges that lawmakers and farm groups will face whenever a new farm bill is scheduled for debate on the House floor. DeLauro represents Connecticut's Third District, which stretches from the Long Island Sound and New Haven to the Naugatuck Valley and Waterbury. She serves in the Democratic leadership as co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, and is the ranking member on the Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, where she oversees investments in education, health, and employment. She also serves on the subcommittee responsible for FDA and agriculture, where she oversees drug and food safety. In this week's Open Mic, DeLauro also discusses her objections to the Trans Pacific Partnership and fears that food safety will be compromised by the agreement.

Pam Johnson
Pam Johnson is President of the National Corn Growers Association and an Iowa corn grower who encourages all growers to be more politically active. Recent challenges to the Renewable Fuel Standard threaten not only the corn industry, but future biofuels under development. Johnson says NCGA is ready for a five-year farm bill to be written, but is not a fan of some of the policy options being discussed. She also discusses the potential for the 2013 corn crop and reinforces the value of corn to a growing world population.

Representative Bob Goodlatte
Bob Goodlatte is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. In this week's Open Mic, the Virginia Republican talks about pending immigration bills and the potential for bipartisan support in the Senate and House of Representatives. Goodlatte wants to eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and presents his argument for dismantling the requirement that corn-based ethanol be given an unfair advantage in the marketplace. The Chairman also speculates on the likelihood of a farm bill being written, debated and passed in this year and the potential change in the number of "no" votes that occurred in the last effort to pass the farm bill.

Senator Charles Grassley
The budgets passed by both the House and Senate are like 'night and day', but Senator Charles Grassley, believes that lawmakers must work toward a more balanced budget even as work begins again on a new farm bill. Its a difficult task, especially because Grassley says there are a lot of people in the U.S. Senate who don't understand agriculture. He also has opinions about how immigration should be modernized and what any new gun control legislation must not include. The Senator believes there are looming threats that agriculture must face including a cut in federal spending and a challenge to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Julie Borlaug
"The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind," said Norman Borlaug during his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. In 1977, he was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 2006, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, just a few in a long line of honors bestowed upon Borlaug, known as the father of the Green Revolution. In this week's Open Mic, his granddaughter, Julie Borlaug, tells about the promise she made to him on his deathbed about continuing his focus on science and technology to feed a growing, hungry world. As Associate Director for External Relations for the Borlaug Institute at Texas A & M, she talks about several projects to help farmers in developing nations and why those who buy products labeled fair trade may be hurting, rather than helping small farmers.

Rusty Fowler
A big dose of common sense from Rusty Fowler, past chair of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Fowler is with Krone, a maker of haying equipment based in Memphis, Tennessee. He talks about tax policy, regulations and his concerns that Congress can't keep their mind on their jobs enough to pass "boiler plate" legislation. He speaks in favor of governing from the center and the problem of rewarding politicians for philosophy and behavior that would fail in the private sector.

Jerry L. Hatfield, Ph.D.
As hundreds gather in Washington this week to celebrate Ag Day, we can celebrate that today's farmers each feed more than 144 people. But how do we continue to increase productivity in order to feed a growing, global population that's expected to top 9 billion by 2050? Dr. Jerry Hatfield, director of USDA's National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, says 300 bu. corn and 100 bu. soybean yield goals are attainable, but it will require rethinking increased climate variability, as well as placing a new focus on genetics, the environment and soil systems management. His comments on Open Mic are particularly timely as lawmakers grapple with budget cuts in research and conservation programs cuts that could derail some of the changes he says are needed to meet future challenges with productivity and adaptation.

Steve Troxler
From immigration to water quality and a host of regulatory issues, members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) deal with a broad portfolio of issues every day. Steve Troxler is the North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture and the current president of NASDA. In this week's Open Mic, Troxler is very optimistic that farmers and agribusinesses will do what's right for the environment and the consumer, but he is a little less sure of what Congress will be able to achieve at the federal level.

John Larson
Will there still be adequate federal dollars available to help get more conservation practices on the ground? That's one of the big questions facing John Larson as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees included important reforms in the conservation title of the farm bill last year, but the future is uncertain. The Washington state native also discusses how implementing more conservation on working lands can help improve soil health and water quality, while giving growers more regulatory certainty.

Tim Buzby
Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987, which responded to the farm credit crisis and established the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation. Since that time, "Farmer Mac" has served as the primary secondary market for agricultural loans with cumulative business volume exceeding $29 billion. On this week's Open Mic, CEO Tim Buzby explains how Farmer Mac has changed over the years and discusses the similarities and differences with other government-sponsored enterprises. He also shares his views on whats ahead for the agricultural economy and the potential for higher interest rates.

Senator Mark Pryor
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor would like to see bipartisan solutions to some of our nations most troubling budget issues, but in this week's Open Mic, he paints a fairly bleak picture. The Arkansan chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and talks about some of his priorities and his concerns about cutting direct payments to address the looming March 1 sequester. A long-time advocate for rice farmers in his state, Pryor tells why he voted against the Senate farm bill last year and how he views the Obama administration's proposals on gun control.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp
In his first term Rep. Tim Huelskamp earned a reputation of bucking the political system and party leadership positions that prompted the Republican House Steering Committee to strip him of plum committee assignments in the 113th Congress, including the Agriculture and Budget Committees. But the Kansas farmer handily won re-election in the state's "Big First" District and he's proud of being a fiscal conservative - one of only nine members in the 435-member U.S. House to have earned a 100 percent rating from the conservative Club for Growth for 2011. In this week's Open Mic, we asked him about sequestration and other budget issues, the farm bill and immigration reform.

Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh and Dr. David Kohl
Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh does not hold back on his opinions about the inability of Congress to act on a new farm bill. Dr. David Kohl agrees and also is concerned about U.S. monetary policy and the pending change at the Federal Reserve. The seasoned duo still has great hope for agriculture and our economy. Both cite government as the greatest impediment to growth. Dr. David Kohl is a long time professor of Agricultural Economics at Virginia Tech University. He focuses on the banking industry and it's relationship with agriculture. Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh has been teaching students for forty-two years at Kansas State University and contributed to numerous pieces of farm legislation dating back to the Nixon administration. Most notably, his work in the 1990's led to the 1996 farm bill known as "Freedom to Farm".

Charlie Stenholm
From his work with the Boll Weevils to the Blue Dogs, former Congressman Charlie Stenholm established a reputation for getting things done in Congress through bipartisan alliances - something that's almost unheard of in today's highly polarized political environment. In this Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview, he tells us why he believes a short-term increase in the debt limit and passage of a new federal budget are crucial to getting a farm bill passed this year. And the life-long farmer has some advice to farm organizations about how they need to change to address some of the political and agricultural challenges of the future including food, water and energy. A member of the House Committee on Agriculture throughout his 26-year House career, Stenholm served as the ranking Democrat for his last eight years until 2004. Currently, Stenholm is a Senior Policy Advisor at OFW Law.



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