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NFU Submits Testimony to House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (March 24, 2014) – Last week National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations, outlining NFU's priorities for Fiscal Year 2015 funding for agricultural programs. In his testimony, Johnson listed five main requests.

NFU opposes any legislative riders or targeted funding restrictions to limit or restrict the enforcement, legal defense or study of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). New COOL regulations enacted in 2013 are currently being evaluated by the World Trade Organization and the legal system, and efforts to undermine these proceedings through appropriations are unwarranted and premature. Studies have found that more than 90 percent of consumers support COOL.

"Because of appropriations riders in the last three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not been allowed to write rules that would provide greater fairness for livestock sellers and poultry growers in the agriculture marketplace, as directed by the 2008 Farm Bill," said Johnson. "I strongly urge the subcommittee to reject any legislative riders that would undermine the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration's authority and ignore congressional intent."

"Homegrown renewable energy helps our country reduce its carbon footprint while building the future of the rural economy," said NFU Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule. "NFU requests the subcommittee fully fund Congress' substantial discretionary investments in existing energy programs through the 2014 Farm Bill to help meet our country's renewable energy goals."

Finally, NFU has two agricultural research requests, calling for the implementation of a 2008 Farm Bill directive to make conventional plant and animal breeding a priority for research grants, and fully granting the administration's request for funding for the development and release of regionally adapted, public cultivars.

"With the passage of a new, comprehensive farm bill, Congress has clearly established its agricultural priorities for the next five years," said Goule. "It is critical that appropriators not reduce funding through changes in mandatory programs for the entirety of the 2014 Farm Bill in order to achieve Congress' legislative goals."

Click here to read NFU's testimony.

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 Announces Staff Changes PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (March 18, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today announced a number of NFU staff changes:

  • Melisa Augusto, previously Director of Communications, will now serve as Director of Membership and Marketing.
  • Chandler Goule, previously Vice President of Government Relations, will now serve as Senior Vice President of Programs.
  • Brittany Jablonsky succeeds Melisa Augusto as Director of Communications.
  • Jeff Knudson has been promoted from Vice President of Operations to Senior Vice President of Operations.
  • Maria Miller, previously NFU's Director of Education, has been appointed Executive Director of the NFU Foundation.
  • Mike Stranz has been promoted from Government Relations Representative to Senior Government Relations Representative.
  • Ethan Whitmore, previously Membership Database Manager, will now serve as Director of Information Systems.

"NFU is fortunate to have a great team in place working hard on behalf of family farmers and ranchers across the country," said Johnson.

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 Board of Directors Elects Executive Committee PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (March 18, 2014) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors has elected members of its 2014 Executive Committee, comprised of the following:

Officers:

  • Secretary: Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president
  • Treasurer: John Hansen, Nebraska Farmers Union president

Other members of the Executive Committee:

  • Jim Benham, Indiana Farmers Union president
  • Terry Detrick, Oklahoma Farmers Union president
  • Alan Merrill, Montana Farmers Union president
  • Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union president
  • Darin Von Ruden, Wisconsin Farmers Union president
  • Mark Watne, North Dakota Farmers Union president

NFU President Roger Johnson and NFU Vice President Donn Teske, elected by delegates at the recent NFU convention, join the above as members of the Executive Committee. Teske is also the president of Kansas Farmers Union.

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 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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