Open Mic Replay - An Extensive Catalog of Our Audio Interviews


Jeff Simmons
Jeff Simmons is President of Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Company, and a passionate advocate for the role technology plays in sustainable, efficient production of safe, affordable meat, dairy and eggs. In his 23 years with company, he traveled to some of the harshest regions of the globe and gained experiences that have shaped his perspective on food and agriculture. In this week's Open Mic, he verbalizes his deep conviction for finding global solutions to world hunger, using an egg to illustrate part of the challenges ahead. Simmons, who grew up on a family farm in New York, also questions animal rights activists from the perspective of human welfare and animal welfare.

Rick Berg
North Dakota Congressman Rick Berg joins us on this week's Open Mic to discuss his frustration over the stalled 2012 farm bill and his eleventh hour efforts to try to whip votes before the House or Representatives headed home to campaign. Failure to pass the bill has become a political hot button for the North Dakota Republican, who serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and is now running for Senate in a hotly contested race against Heidi Heitkamp. He also talks about his early years working on farms and the importance of letting 4-H and FFA kids continue to do farm labor. In a state that has record low unemployment and healthy state coffers, the Agriculural Economics graduate from NDSU also talks about his concerns that overregulation could stifle small businesses and future economic growth.

Paul Schickler
This week's Open Mic guest is Paul Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer, a role he's held since 2007. He talks about the ongoing challenges with getting new seed products registered around the globe, the benefits of competition in the seed industry, as well as the firms ongoing legal battles with Monsanto. The Iowa-based company is breeding more stress tolerance into crops and reports on how those plants performed during a year of record drought. Schickler also talks about future technology that will improve consumer products and profitability for corn and soybean farmers.

Jim Sutter
With USDA projecting another record year for farm exports, we interviewed Jim Sutter, the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, for Agri-Pulse Open Mic. Sutter comes from a strong background in soybean merchandising and is eager to sell more U.S. soybeans into the world market even as buyers are concerned about tight supplies and high prices. He explains the relationship between the Export Council, the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association and the USDA Foreign Ag Service. Sutter believes there is great opportunity to expand U.S. soybean exports and export two-thirds of the crop by 2020, but some countries continue to have trade barriers against our products, and there are increasing concerns about sustainability standards in the EU.

Clayton Yeutter
Dr. Clayton Yeutter has long-served as a public servant in the federal government and held several different leadership positions within the private sector, where he is currently a Senior Advisor at Hogan Lovells LLP in Washington D.C. In 1978, he became president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In July 1985 President Reagan appointed Yeutter as U.S. Trade Representative. On February 16, 1989, Yeutter was sworn in as the Secretary of Agriculture, where he helped develop the 1990 farm bill. In this weeks Open Mic, the Nebraska native talks about key issues facing farmers and ranchers today and how he believes the Romney administration would offer solutions on issues like trade, taxes and regulatory relief.

Ann Mills
With incredible heat and drought conditions across much of the U.S., some have compared this time period to previous record-breaking droughts dating back to the 1930's Dust Bowl years. Yet with new technologies and conservation techniques, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills explains how farmers and ranchers are preserving precious resources despite the weather-related challenges and how new conservation innovation grants might lead to even better practices. Mills, who previously directed the Senate office of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and worked on bio-fuels issues for then-Congressman Richard Durbin, talks about how a new farm bill might shape future conservation programs and how environmental markets could emerge as a new revenue stream for producers.

Rick Tolman
Rick Tolman, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Corn Growers for the last 12 years, is our guest on Agri-Pulse Open Mic. As a member of the "Farm Bill Now" coalition, Tolman talks about his group's disapointment that members of Congress can't get the job done. He also talks about how ethanol has allowed agriculture to be a bright light in the national economy and explains how, from a technical standpoint, NCGA needs to be supportive of those who want to petition the EPA for a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard. We also asked him to grade the Obama Administration's approach to agriculture.

Jon Scholl
This week's guest on Agri-Pulse Open Mic is Jon Scholl, President of the American Farmland Trust, the nation's leading farmland conservation organization. Previously, he served as Counselor to the Administrator for Agricultural Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and talks about his experiences connecting farmers to consumers and the importance of being good stewards of the land, especially in critical watersheds like the Cheseapeake Bay. Scholl gives his perspective on the conservation title in the 2012 farm bill and potential cuts in conservation programs to pay for livestock disaster aid. Although the rate of farmland conversion to development has slowed, Scholl says more focus should be given to protecing what he calls "America's greatest natural resource."

Joe Jobe
Joe Jobe, the Chief Executive Officer for the National Biodiesel Board joins us on Agri-Pulse Open Mic to discuss the current state of his industry and the important roles that the biodiesel tax credit and the Renewable Fuels Standard play in supporting biodiesel production in the U.S. Jobe, who grew up on a farm in central Missouri, also explains how biodiesel, which is the only advanced biofuel in commercial production, is very diverse in terms of technology and feedstock sources and represents an important path forward for anyone interested in energy independence.

Representative Steve King
Steve King, a five-term U.S. Representative from western Iowa, joins us on Agri-Pulse Open Mic to talk about how the House plans to consider livestock disaster assistance and a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill this week. The fourth-ranking Republican on the House AgricultureCommittee talks about his efforts to prevent states from imposing trade barriers on livestock production methods against other states. King, a small business owner who says he has probably built more terraces than any other member of Congress, also talks about conservation and shares the importance of keeping the RFS in place, while preserving the delicate balance between corn, soybean and livestock production. King is facing a tough reelection race in the Fourth District against Christie Vilsack, a well-funded political newcomer and the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Karl Brooks
Karl Brooks has worked as a lawyer, Idaho state senator, University of Kansas professor, environmental author and most recently was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) Region 7, based in Kansas City. In this weeks Agri-Pulse Open Mic, he talks about the controversial topic of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) flyovers of confined animal feeding operations, where small airplanes are used to check for potential violations of the clean water act. Its a practice dating back to when a Republican president first created the EPA. Brooks also talks about his willingness to listen to the agricultural community and how producers investments in new technology have helped improve environmental quality.

Dr. Joe Glauber
USDA's Chief Economist Dr. Joe Glauber joins us this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic to discuss the drought that's dramatically cutting yields across the Midwest and how high participation in the crop insurance program in that region will protect many farmers from a total financial loss. Glauber, who oversees the World Agricultural Outlook Board, also talks about recent changes in the USDA's supply and demand reports, the potential implications of farm program changes included in the Senate and House Ag Committee versions of the 2012 farm bill, and export opportunities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

Steve Griffin
This week's guest is Steve Griffin. Griffin is president of CVision Corporation. He holds degrees from Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University in agricultural economics and has over twenty five years of experience in public and private service. He has developed startup companies and created historic firsts in the federal crop insurance program. Griffin specializes in crop risk management and insurance product development with pricing and reinsurance as a part of that enterprise. Griffin is an educator in agricultural economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and quantitative business decision-making. He teaches at two universities in the Des Moines, Iowa area.

Jay Vroom, President of CropLife America
With the world's population expected to grow to nearly nine billion by 2050, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that global food production must double by that time. Our guest this week on Agri-Pulse Open Mic, Jay Vroom, talks about the important role that science-based, modern farming practices, which use fewer inputs while leading to increased productivity, can play in feeding a growing, hungry world. As President and CEO of CropLife America, he also talks about challenges the industry is facing with herbicide and weed resistance and why he has invited some of the industrys biggest critics to annual dialogues with his members. And with the presidential election less than five months away, Vroom talks about the importance of the rural vote

Representative Glenn Thompson
Rep. Glenn Thompson, who represents Pennsylvania's most rural district, also chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry. In this weeks' Agri-Pulse Open Mic, the GOP Congressman talks about the 2012 farm bill that's expected to move forward in the House Agriculture Committee on July 11 and how he hopes to strengthen voluntary, conservation programs in what will be his first farm bill. Thompson, who describes farmers as "the original environmentalists" also calls for a smaller, leaner and more effective Environmental Protection Agency, which he describes as currently "out of control. "

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