Open Mic Replay - An Extensive Catalog of Our Audio Interviews


Dr. Jayson Lusk Oklahoma State Univ.
This week's Open Mic features Oklahoma State University's Dr. Jayson Lusk who has conducted extensive research on consumer attitudes toward food safety and acceptance of new technologies. Proposed labeling legislation over foods that contain ingredients from GMO crops has proven to be a polar issue that may see attention in the US Senate. In this interview, Dr. Lusk discusses the consumer cost of mandatory food labels, the social and economic implications on agriculture research and technologies and the retailers reaction to consumer food buying trends.

Wade Cowan, President American Soybean Assn.
This week's guest on Open Mic is Texas farmer Wade Cowan, President of the American Soybean Association. In this interview you'll hear a farmers perspective on global trading relationships, the threat of a government shutdown and biotech labeling legislation. Cowan spent time with the Chinese officials last week in New Orleans and is optimistic for more productive discussions between the two countries. Cowan previews his testimony on food aid before the House Agriculture Committee this week. He is intently interested in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership talks this week in Atlanta and shares his view on a successful conclusion to the negotiations.

Dan Knutson
An upcoming merger of two major agriculture businesses will not only boost competitiveness for some of the country's independent retailers but also join resources to bring new technologies in crop protection, nutrient management, and sustainable agriculture for farmers. In this week's Open Mic Dan Knutson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Land O' Lakes explains how the two-step merger of United Suppliers with Land O' Lakes' Winfield business is a merger of equals combining the technology and resources of both companies to grow farm productivity despite lower returns and a maze of regulatory hurdles, like WOTUS.

Dr. J.B. Penn, Chief Economist Deere and Co.
This week's Open Mic Guest is Dr. J.B. Penn, Chief Economist for Deere and Company. A golden era in U.S. agriculture appears to have passed. In this interview you'll hear Dr. Penn's thoughts on a new economic normal for U.S. agriculture, including his perspective on renewable fuels, and insight into a pending domestic interest rate increase. Dr. Penn discusses the challenge Chinese authorities face in managing a slowing instead of a growing economy and how their success or failure affects U.S. agriculture.

Dr. Robb Fraley, Monsanto
This week's Open Mic guest is Monsanto's Dr. Robb Fraley. Disappointed with the failed acquisition of Syngenta, Dr. Fraley discusses reasons for the pursuit of the global chemical giant and his company's plans toward the future. While some consumers oppose genetically modified crops, Fraley gives reasons to pursue next generation innovation in chemistry, biologics, and genetics to achieve growth in the world food supply.

Frank Gasperini, CEO for the National Council for Agricultural Employers
This week's Open Mic features Frank Gasperini, CEO for the National Council for Agricultural Employers. In this interview you will hear the frustration labor intensive agriculture faces each year in finding an adequate hourly workforce to harvest crops and care for livestock and how a coalition has grown challenging Congress to take action. Gasperini defines how some proposals for immigration reform could decimate some facets of the ag industry and threaten our nation's food security.

Robert Johanson, USDA Chief Economist
Our guest on Open Mic this week is USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson. In this wide-ranging interview, you'll hear his perspective on any relationship between the drop in equity markets and commodity prices, thoughts on China, Brazil and other countries lowering their currency values, and the implications of the EPA's upcoming decision on RFS volume standards for US farm income.

Jeff Broin
At 22, Jeff Broin managed a small South Dakota ethanol plant. Today POET is the world's largest producer of renewable fuels. In this interview, Jeff Broin shares the direct and indirect benefits of the Renewable Fuels Standard and warns of the domestic and global implications if Washington steps back from its commitment to renewable fuels. Broin says the future of the domestic renewable fuels industry hinges on the EPA's volume standard announcement later this year.

Alan Tiemann
Our guest on Open Mic this week is Nebraska farmer Alan Tiemann who was recently elected as Chairman of the US Grains Council. In this interview you'll hear a farmer's perspective of market development in a competitive global environment, the value of a potential Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the real potential for ethanol exports and a first-hand assessment of Cuban agriculture trade opportunities.

Governor Martin O'Malley
This week's guest on Open Mic is Governor Martin O'Malley, a Democratic candidate for President in 2016. In this interview you'll hear his views on renewable fuel policy, environmental stewardship, global trade and why he believes leading a state like Maryland uniquely qualifies his bid for the Oval Office.

Senator Chuck Grassley
This week's guest on Open Mic is Iowa U.S. Senator Charles Grassley. With days left before the August Congressional recess, Grassley says leaders face some must pass legislation including highway funding and a final decision on Country-of-Origin Labeling. In this interview, Grassley offers insights into possible tax reform and the final stages of debate in the budget process. Grassley also says Congress needs to take action to protect poultry farmers from the continued threat of avian influenza.

Rep. Rob Bishop
This week's guest on Open Mic is Rep. Rob Bishop, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. Bishop is pleased with recent votes on forestry and water but admits a number of uphill battles remain for his committee and Congress. The Utah Republican minces no words in describing the Obama Administration as the bully regulation machine and in this interview discusses his concerns about federal regulations on private and public lands, water supply, and endangered species.

Representative Cheri Bustos - IL
This week's guest on Open Mic is Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. As a member of the House committees on Agriculture as well as Transportation and Infrastructure, the Illinois Democrat is positioned to cast important votes for farmers and rural America. In this informative interview you'll hear her thoughts on congressional consideration of trade agreements and angst against the EPA on implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Bustos wants a long term fix for highway spending and believes the charter for the Export/Import Bank should be renewed.

Rep. John Shimkus - IL
This week's guest on Open Mic is Representative John Shimkus. The Illinois Republican is pleased with the results of the first six months of the 114th Congress but admits difficult votes lie ahead on spending and regulatory overreach. Shimkus also discusses upcoming trade pacts, GMO labeling and the renewable fuel volume debate.

Rep. Ron Kind
This week's Open Mic features Representative Ron Kind. As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Wisconsin Democrat supports free trade and explains why it was such a difficult vote for many Democrats, who largely opposed President Obama. Kind shares his thoughts for the Obama administration in the latter stages of the TPP negotiations, especially in regard to his home state's dairy industry. He also discusses EPA's proposed waters of the U.S. rule. As a long-time farm bill critic, he also talks about further changes he'd like to see in crop insurance and other farm programs.

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