Happy 10th Anniversary to Agri-Pulse

al-sara-10Just like us, our friends at Agri-Pulse started their company in 2004, so we are celebrating our tenth anniversary together!

Also like us, Agri-Pulse is run by a husband and wife from a home office in a nice vacation spot, so we have a place to wind down when not on the road – which is more often than not! Where we rely on freelancers, however, Agri-Pulse has expanded over ten years to include a staff of ten that keep the business running from Washington DC to world headquarters at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

ZimmCast 433In this week’s ZimmCast, we talk to Agri-Pulse president Sara Wyant and her husband and right hand man Allan Johnson. We did this interview last week, just after the kick off of National Agriculture Day, which they passionately support.

Check out the photos from their portion of National Ag Day here:
Agri-Pulse Ag Day Photo Album

You can listen to this week’s program here. ZimmCast with Agri-Pulse

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsor, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong, for their support.

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

Agri-Pulse Kicks Off National Agriculture Week

The National Agriculture Day celebration in Washington DC has events spread across three days – and really it should be more because it is officially National Agriculture Week.

agri-pulse-2We started it all off with a bang, thanks to the Farm to Fork politics session sponsored by our friends with Agri-Pulse, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary of business this year – just like us! Sara Wyant and Allen Johnson are pictured here with Senator Debbie Stebenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who stopped by to say a few words to everyone and congratulate Agri-Pulse for a decade of service to the industry.

“It’s great to see all of you and not be asked for an update on the progress of the farm bill,” the smiling senator joked to the crowd of nearly 400 gathered in the Hart Senate Office Building overlooking the capitol city. “I’m just glad to be part of the team as we take the next steps of bringing the farm bill to fruition with all of the steps toward implementation.” Ag Day Comments by Sen. Debbie Stabenow

ag-day-14-sara-harden1Those steps toward implementation were the main topic of discussion as USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden sat down with Sara for the main event. “Congress did give us a long time to plan, I’ll have to say that,” said Harden, who said the process really started when she took over the office last August, and continued as they waited and waited for Congress to finally get the bill passed.

Harden says USDA is focused on getting the livestock disaster piece implemented first. “We will be ready by April 15th,” she promised. “We will make sure that we provide this benefit to these livestock producers who definitely are in need.” Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden and Sara Wyant of Agri-Pulse

Agri-Pulse Ag Day Photo Album

More National Agriculture Day/Week coverage to come.

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

New Poll Finds Farmers Less Optimistic

iowa-soyA new poll of Iowa farmers finds less optimism about the financial picture of agriculture this year.

The Agri-Pulse Farm Opinion Poll, launched last month in partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), found that farmers expect to see weaker financial returns in 2014 and will adjust their expenditures – spending less on fertilizer and equipment but more on crop insurance.

agri-pulseNearly 80 percent expect their 2014 farm financial outlook to worsen – 47 percent expect it to worsen “slightly” while 32 percent expect it to worsen “a great deal.” Poll respondents said they also expect the value of their farmland to drop this year, with 75 percent expecting values to decrease.

Eighty-seven percent of the farmers’ surveyed plan to either purchase more or continue about the same level of crop insurance as last year. The majority view crop insurance as the most important Farm Bill “tool” for maintaining their profitability this year.

The importance of crop insurance came through when farmers were asked what aspect of the Agricultural Act of 2014 will be most important in helping their financial situation this year. More than 62 percent chose crop insurance as more important to their operations than other aspects of the just-passed Farm Bill.

The poll was taken Feb. 23 with more than 130 Iowa farmers responding to the unaided 12-question poll.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Sen. Roberts

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micAs the U.S. Senate prepares to approve a new farm bill this week, supporters and critics are still weighing in on key provisions in the 949-page package. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, understands the difficult dynamics involved with gaining approval of complex food and farm legislation, having served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in 1996 when “Freedom to Farm” was adopted and as ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee when deliberations first started on the present bill in 2011. Even though he is pleased with changes made to enhance crop insurance, Roberts explains why he continues to have long-standing concerns about the commodity title and is likely to vote against the Agricultural Act of 2014 this week.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Sen. Pat Roberts here.

Agri-Pulse names Daniel Enoch as Managing Editor

agripulse-enochAgri-Pulse is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Enoch as our new Washington-based managing editor.

“As we continue to look for news ways to serve our audience and expand our coverage, we wanted a seasoned journalist who is well-versed in agriculture to lead our editorial team in Washington,” explained Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “With the addition of Daniel, we will have five reporters providing the most trusted and balanced coverage of agriculture and rural policy issues in Washington.”

For the past 12 years Enoch has worked as an editor at Bloomberg News in the nation’s capital, helping to supervise the news agency’s award-winning coverage of agricultural and environmental issues as well as the major farm-commodity markets, including corn, wheat, soybeans, cattle and hogs.

Enoch previously worked for the Associated Press and as a reporter and editor for several daily newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. A native Philadelphian, Enoch studied English at St. Joseph’s University before joining the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as an infantry officer during the Vietnam War.

Open Mic with Sen. Klobuchar

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micAs House and Senate leaders head into a farm bill conference meeting, Sen. Amy Klobuchar provides keen insight on the negotiations. She says the challenge is to merge the reductions in spending, contained in the House of Representatives Farm Bill, with the more moderate reductions in the Senate bill and to mediate those provisions in the final bill. She discusses the prospect of rolling the entire farm bill into a larger budget bill and how large a reduction there can be in nutrition spending without risking a presidential veto. Finally, she discusses a provision of the WRDA bill that would permanently close the Upper St. Anthony Lock on the Mississippi River to block Asian Carp from penetrating northern Minnesota rivers and lakes.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Sen. Klobuchar here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micAmbassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize, joins us for a wide-ranging interview on Open Mic. This week, the WFP event will be held in Des Moines, Iowa with many internationally acclaimed speakers including Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Roman Catholic Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana. The WFP honors three scientists in 2013 who dedicated their careers to commercializing biotechnology in crops and addressing world hunger issues: Marc Van Montagu of Belgium,
Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the United States. The WFP encourages scientists and NGOs to talk about how to address crop production and distribution problems and plan for feeding nine billion people in the future, but activists are expected to protest the recognition of science-based solutions for modern agriculture. In this interview, Quinn addresses the issues head on and provides important context for the event, which was founded by Dr. Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Laureate in 1970 for his work in improved plant breeding.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with DuPont Executive

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micRecognized as one of the most influential people in bioenergy, James C. Collins, Jr. is senior vice president for DuPont, in charge of Industrial Biosciences, Performance Polymers and Packaging & Industrial Polymers businesses. He is leading the effort to bring advanced biofuels to market, especially through a new generation cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. Collins will testify this week before the Senate Agriculture Committee on the Renewable Fuel Standard and its applicability to advanced biofuel development. He also comments on DuPont-Pioneer efforts to assist corn growers to get the maximum utilization of biomass by a sustainable rotational system of removing a portion of the stover for use in making cellulosic ethanol.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with James C. Collins, Jr. here.

Cattle and Ethanol Debating RFS

rfa-ncba-debateNational Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts is live right now on AgriTalk in a debate with Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Great RFS Debate is being co-hosted by Agri-Pulse.

Pictured here, left to right, as the debate begins – Bob Dinneen, AgriTalk host Mike Adams, Agri-Pulse editor Sara Wyant, and Kristina Butts.

Archived program available here.

RFA and NCBA to Debate Renewable Fuel Standard

Representatives of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) will be squaring off to debate on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) this week in Washington D.C.

and Agri-Pulse will be hosting the debate via broadcast and the web on September 12 starting at 11:00 am Eastern time live from the Longworth Building, Room 1300. Participants will be RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen and NCBA Vice President Government Affairs Colin Woodall.

ncba-logo“We appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). America’s cattlemen and women are not opposed to renewable fuels; it’s the arbitrary mandate of their use that is at issue,” says Woodall. “This mandates places cattle feeders and the entire cattle sector on an un-level playing field for the finite amount of corn produced.”

RFA-logo-13“The Renewable Fuel Standard is decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs, and revitalizing rural communities. I am all geared up to explain the facts and debunk the negative attacks,” Dinneen says. “It is an excellent time for this debate. USDA is expecting a robust corn crop and just last month USDA issued a report showing that food prices are rising at a slower rate than expected.”

Questions from AgriTalk and Agri-Pulse listeners and readers will be included in the debate led by Mike Adams and Sara Wyant. If you have questions on this topic, please submit them to Host@AgriTalk.com or to Sara@Agri-Pulse.com no later than Wednesday, September 11. The Agri-Pulse team will be live tweeting from the event @AgriPulse. Look for the hashtag #RFSdebate.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Brett Stuart

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micBrett Stuart is President of Global AgriTrends. He was formerly with the U.S. Meat Export Federation before becoming an independent consultant in the meat trade. Stuart’s view is that China and Russia do not want “cheap” imports of meat and grain because it reduces their ability to be self sufficient in food production. He examines the politics and the economics of China and Russia and the role the United States plays as a producer and exporter of high quality, low cost meat and meat products.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Brett Stuart here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Bill Wykes

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micBill Wykes is a soybean farmer and the past chair of the Illinois Soybean Association. He is a strong advocate of biotechnology and utilization of science and innovation in agriculture. Wykes is concerned about regulatory and trade issues facing biotechnology and has encouraged the ISA to host a symposium on the dynamics of international biotechnology./em>

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Bill Wykes here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micLynn Jenkins is the second district U.S. Representative from Kansas. She grew up on a dairy farm near Holton. She is in her third term and has risen to vice-chair of the Republican house conference. Jenkins speaks out about federal agencies and their heavy handed approach in regulating business and industry. She has co-sponsored legislation to allow citizens to have a stronger defense against a government agency by recording phone calls and holding government personnel accountable. Jenkins is also working to determine what federal nutrition policy will be most effective in addressing citizen needs in the future. /em>

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Rep. Lynn Jenkins here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Rep. Dave Loebsack

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micCongressman Dave Loebsack, who recently hosted Rep. Collin Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, in his southeastern Iowa district, explains why he and other Democrats could not support the split farm bill that passed the House a few weeks ago with only GOP votes. Loebsack is quite concerned about failure to get a farm bill through Congress this year and cites his concerns for agriculture if the current one-year farm bill extension expires.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Rep. Dave Loebsack here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Rep. Randy Neugebauer

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micFresh from voting on a split farm bill that creates a new permanent farm law, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, tells why GOP leaders decided to pursue this path. Neugebauer represents the 19th Congressional District of Texas that covers several counties of the Texas Panhandle and the cities of Abilene and Lubbock and serves as a senior member on the Agriculture Committee. He describes last week’s farm bill vote as a “first down, not a touchdown” as the measure hopefully heads to conference on at least the commodity title.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Rep. Randy Neugebauer here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with NFU President

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micRoger Johnson is president of the National Farmers Union. and a past Commissioner of Agriculture in North Dakota. NFU, as an organization, has shown an affinity toward small farmers and democratic party views, however In this year’s farm and immigration debates, they are in step with a broad coalition of farm and labor organizations who want passage of bills that can be put into law. Johnson is frustrated with the U.S. House of Representatives and their inability to compromise on issues like the farm bill and discusses why passage is stalled in the House.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Roger Johnson here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Shirley Bloomfield

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micShirley Bloomfield, the CEO of the NTCA – Rural Broadband Association says rural customers want the same speed, clarity and quality of service as other Americans, but her members face several challenges delivering 21st Century technology, in part because wireless still needs a wired network. Her association is working with farm groups and others on a new Smart Rural Community Initiative to help boost education, telemedicine and economic development in rural areas. She also explains how failure to pass a farm bill impacts rural America and telecommunications firms who rely on USDA rural development programs.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Shirley Bloomfield here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Dr. Robert Fraley

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micDr. Robert Fraley was just named a winner of the 2013 World Food Prize for his role in revolutionary biotechnology discoveries. His career has several parallels with Dr. Norman Borlaug and his passion is as intense. Fraley talks about the use of plant biotechnology to feed a growing population, addressing global hunger and the challenges of gaining acceptance of technologies that change the status quo. He also comments on biotech wheat containing the Roundup Ready trait that was recently identified on an Oregon farm.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Dr. Fraley here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Congressman Rick Nolan

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micCongressman Rick Nolan is a democrat from Minnesota’s 8th district. His primary industries are agriculture, forestry and mining. He holds the congressional record for the longest lapse between terms as he served in Congress (1975-1981), then left to go into business where he managed an international trade association and was owner and president of a forestry company. He returned to Congress this year, in his mid 60′s, and now sits on the agriculture and transportation committees. Nolan speaks about then and now in the change in Congress and about the prospect for passage of the House Farm Legislation. He also talks about the EPA and the challenges faced by industries in his district.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Rep. Nolan here.

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Dr. Steve Meyer

New on Agri-Pulse this week:

open-micDr. Steve Meyer is president of Paragon Economics. He consults with the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council. As an economist, he examines the Smithfield Foods sale to a Chinese company and speculates on whether it will be given regulatory approval. He looks at the impact of such a move on grain and pork producers in the United States. Meyer also discusses the impact of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) on production facilities.

Listen to the Agri-Pulse Open Mic interview with Dr. Meyer here.