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Current NFU News
NFU Statement on House Ag Committee’s Adoption of H.R. 935 PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (March 13, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture's adoption of H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, by voice vote:

"I commend the committee for adopting a common-sense solution to duplicative regulatory requirements that affect family farmers and ranchers.

"Pesticide application is already regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Under H.R. 935, farmers using FIFRA-regulated pesticides would not need to obtain redundant and costly National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to apply them. This law would continue existing regulatory oversight over pesticide application without adding duplicative and time-consuming permitting requirements.

"Since Congress failed to include a provision resolving this issue in the 2014 Farm Bill, I hope House and Senate leaders recognize the need for clarity on pesticide permitting requirements and advance this bipartisan legislation as soon as possible."

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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NFU Concludes 112th Anniversary Convention PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 11, 2014) – Today National Farmers Union (NFU) concluded its 112th anniversary convention in Santa Fe, N.M. The four-day event drew nearly 600 family farmers, ranchers and fishermen from across the country and featured a number of high-profile speakers.

“This year’s convention was a tremendous success,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The convention is the cornerstone event on our calendar each year. Our grassroots structure is something in which we take great pride, and the feeling of family was apparent throughout all of the proceedings.”

Highlights included a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; a panel comprised of Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar, New Mexico Director/Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, and Wyoming Director of Agriculture Jason Fearneyhough; and educational sessions on cooperatives, farmer veterans and the future of Social Security and Medicare. Through the fifth annual “Evening for Education,” approximately $40,000 was raised in support of National Farmers Union Foundation’s educational programming.

“Delegates took the policy adoption process very seriously, considering the needs of family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and rural residents,” said Johnson. “Policy discussion was thoughtful and thorough, and it is an honor to represent the views of our members.”

Johnson was elected to his third full term as president of the organization and Donn Teske, Kansas Farmers Union president, was elected the new vice president. The president and vice president are elected separately to two-year terms.

Delegates also adopted eight special orders of business recognizing 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming and setting priorities for implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, immigration reform, trade policy, animal disease protection and research, the Renewable Fuel Standard, reform of the beef checkoff, and budget sequestration.

Click here to read the special orders. Full text of the adopted policy manual will be available soon at www.NFU.org.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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Beginning Farmer Institute Holds Third Session PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 11, 2014) – National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) participants were in Santa Fe, N.M., this week to take part in the organization’s annual convention and participate in their final session where they reviewed U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, took a closer look at farming from local foods to international agriculture, and considered financial planning critical to obtaining credit. 

“As diverse as agriculture can be, farmers and ranchers all share similar challenges,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “That is why programs like the BFI succeed; it gives beginning farmers an opportunity to learn some of the important skills that they will need from experts yet also from each other."

BFI participants include Shannan Tenze of Colorado; Maggie Mills and Janean Romines of Maryland; Eric Hoese, Carsten Thomas, Brent Krohn and Bryce Krohn, of Minnesota; Paul Kanning of Montana; Josh Norby, James Hansen and Loretta Hansen of North Dakota; and Jennifer Gibson of Wisconsin.  

The participants from across the nation range from cattle ranchers and grain farmers to those growing for farmers markets to urban farmers. The institute is a yearlong program and is currently accepting applications for its next class. It is open to individuals who are new to farming, are in the process of transferring an operation from a relative or non-relative, or are contemplating a career in farming or ranching. 

Interested applicants can download the 2014 application on the NFU website, as well as visit NFU's education Facebook page for updates and further information on NFU's youth and young adult education programs. Applications must be postmarked on or before April 7, 2014.

The Beginning Farmers Institute is supported by the FUI Foundation, Farm Credit, CoBank, CHS Foundation and the NFU Foundation.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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“Evening For Education” Benefits NFU Foundation PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – The National Farmers Union Foundation (NFUF) held its fifth annual “Evening for Education” gala on Monday during the farm organization’s convention in Santa Fe, N.M. The Foundation’s focus is to empower people to educate others on the social, economic and cooperative contributions of family agriculture.

The event featured speakers who were past participants in the wide variety of educational programs the Foundation makes possible throughout the year.

“Farmers Union educational activities and summer camps touch thousands of rural youth each year, teaching them important lessons from food nutrition to grassroots activism,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Thanks to the generosity of those participating in this event, we are able to provide leadership training and cooperative education programs for people of all ages.”

Nearly 400 people from across the nation attended the event. Farmers Union has a rich history of educating all ages, especially young people, for more than 80 years. NFUF also supports scholarships, internships and conferences on cooperatives for college students. In addition, the Foundation is making it possible for adults to participate in a wide variety of learning opportunities, such as the Women’s Conference, Beginning Farmer Institute, adult educational curriculum, and other adult educational opportunities.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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NFU Members Recognize the International Year of Family Farming PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) members kicked off the organization’s annual policy debate with a special order of business celebrating 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, as recognized by the United Nations.

“The International Year of Family Farming recognizes the important contributions that family farming can make to improving food security and eradicating poverty around the world. Family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in both developing and developed countries,” the special order states.

Globally, 870 million people are suffering from chronic undernourishment and a disproportionate number of them are farmers. Forty-five percent of the global population makes its living directly from farming, and the majority of the world’s farmers are women that produce up to 80 percent of the world’s food. In the United States, family farms still constitute 96 percent of all farms. The agriculture sector contributes more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy, employs approximately 14 percent of the total workforce and accounts for nearly 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

The special order recognizes “the importance of raising the profile of family farming by focusing the world’s attention on its significant role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development in rural areas.”

NFU urges the U.S. Congress and the administration to do its part in officially recognizing the International Year of Family Farming and to celebrate family farming’s important role in various ways throughout the year. It also encourages countries, national organizations and states to undertake activities in support of the year.

Click here to read the special order of business.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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