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NFU Board Calls on Congress to Pass 2014 Farm Bill this Week PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 28, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson, under direction from the NFU Board of Directors, sent a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner calling for the 2014 Farm Bill to be called up and voted on this week.

“Farm bill conference committee members have agreed to a compromise that will provide farmers, ranchers, rural residents and America’s consumers with policy certainty over the next five years,” said Johnson. “Thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Cochran, and Ranking Member Peterson, and, the farm bill is now at the final stage in the legislative process.”

The letter outlines several of NFU’s priorities that were included in the final report language.

“NFU is pleased with the conference report for a variety of reasons,” said Johnson. “The bill includes fixed reference prices to provide assistance to farmers only when truly necessary. It provides a strong crop insurance title and approximately $4 billion in livestock disaster assistance. The bill increases funding for the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program and related initiatives. We are also encouraged by the inclusion of robust mandatory funding levels for renewable energy programs. We’re also very happy that the bill preserves the ability of American family farmers and ranchers to distinguish their products in the marketplace through the existing Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law.”

“On behalf of all family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, rural residents and consumers, I call on Congress to pass the bill this week,” continued Johnson. “It is time to move forward and pass the farm bill.”

Click here to view the letter.

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 Pleased with Initial Read of Farm Bill Conference Report PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 27, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement following the 2014 Farm Bill Conference Committee’s release of its report on The Agricultural Act of 2014:

“Upon initial review of the language released by the committee, NFU is pleased with the final bill. I know that the farm bill is a long, laborious task and appreciate the work of leadership in both chambers, staff and all who made it possible to get this far in the process.

“I am encouraged to see provisions that benefit family farmers and ranchers in the bill, including approximately $4 billion in livestock disaster funds, retroactively available to those who suffered tremendous losses last October. It increases access for livestock producers to Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) benefits, along with many other supportive policies for the livestock industry.

“NFU is happy that Congress did not make any legislative changes to the Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law or major adjustments to protections for producers under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

“The NFU Board of Directors will meet tomorrow to review the bill, comparing it to the priorities that we have put forward to all members of Congress several times, but overall we are pleased to see the process move forward.”

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 Grassroots Policy Discussions Begin in Washington PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 27, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) commenced its grassroots policy revision process this week with the 2014 policy committee in Washington, D.C. This year’s committee is comprised of Tim Velde (chairman) of Minnesota, Tom Coudron of Missouri, William Downs of Montana, Vern Jantzen of Nebraska, Joel Keierleber of South Dakota, Kim Klose of North Dakota, Aaron Heley Lehman of Iowa, Harvey Schroeder of Oklahoma, and Tom Wingfield of Rocky Mountain. The committee members are all outstanding leaders in their state/regional Farmers Union organizations and were nominated by their respective state’s president to serve on the committee.

“NFU is proud of its grassroots process for policy formation, and the policy committee is vital to carrying out that tradition,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The committee is tasked with reviewing our current policies and offering changes and additions for the delegates to vote on at our upcoming convention. This policy is what we will advocate for during the course of the next year.”

The committee will hear from Brian Baenig, chief of staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); Sarah Bittleman, senior agricultural counselor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and Doug McKalip, senior policy advisor for rural affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council, to ensure they have a broad working knowledge of current legislative and regulatory issues as they revise NFU’s organizational policy.

“The committee is here working just as the Farm Bill Conference Committee is hopefully wrapping up its negotiations,” said Johnson. “We hope that this week will prove to be productive in concluding a farm bill right alongside our ending the first phase of our policy process.”

This week is the first part of a two-step process. The second part of the process will take place in March during NFU’s convention. During the convention, any Farmers Union member may propose changes to the policy. The committee then considers those proposals and submits a final copy of the suggested policy to the state delegates at the convention for consideration and adoption. NFU’s 112th Anniversary Convention will take place on March 8 -11, in Santa Fe, N.M. Visit www.nfu.org/convention for more details.

Click here to view a picture of the 2014 NFU Policy Committee.

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 Grassroots Policy Discussions Begin in Washington

 
Packers and Processors Attempt to Hold Farm Bill Hostage PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 27, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to a letter from the meatpacking industry sent today to Congress. The letter calls for Congress to gut the Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law. It also proposes to dismantle protections for producers under the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). Finally, the letter threatens to oppose the farm bill unless its demands are met:

“NFU strongly disagrees with this letter and supports the livestock provisions in the emerging farm bill, which are beneficial to family farmers and ranchers. The groups that signed the letter do not represent farmers and ranchers. They represent the vertically integrated packers, and they clearly do not have the interests of family farmers and ranchers in mind.

“The farm bill conference includes several strong positives for livestock. Permanent baseline funding for livestock programs is part of the bill, including nearly $5 billion in disaster funds. The Livestock Forage Program is also set to be improved in this farm bill, as are the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and various livestock health initiatives.

“It is especially outrageous that on COOL, the outcome these organizations seek was not the subject of a single hearing in either the Senate or the House; it was not even proposed as an amendment on the floor of either chamber, nor was it debated in either committee. And they want to do this despite the fact that more than 90 percent of consumers want to know more about where their food comes from.

“I ask the conferees and all members of Congress to listen to the voices of family farmers, ranchers and consumers, and to support a conference committee report that makes improvements to livestock programs and stays strong on COOL and GIPSA. It is time to get this farm bill done.”

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 Applauds RFS Support from Congress PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 23, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in praise of the two letters 61 members of Congress signed and sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today in support of EPA changing its proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes released late last year:

“NFU is grateful for the leadership shown by the members of Congress who sent this letter to EPA. The RFS is a principle driver of the cellulosic and advanced biofuels industry. EPA’s proposal is a big step backward in the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ending our reliance on foreign oil, and giving consumers a choice at the pump.

“The ethanol industry supports nearly 400,000 jobs nationwide. If the current proposal is finalized, it will reduce farm income and damage rural economies.

“I hope that EPA hears the message loud and clear that their proposal is not the right direction to take our country. NFU will continue to work with EPA and members of Congress on support for the RFS.”

Click here to view the Senate letter on Renewable Fuel Standards

Click here to view the House letter on Renewable Fuel Standards

(Links Courtesy of The Hagstrom Report)

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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