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Current NFU News
NFU Names Senate Ag Appropriations Priorities PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (April 7, 2014) – Last week National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations, outlining NFU’s priorities for Fiscal Year 2015 funding for agricultural programs.

Johnson’s testimony reiterated NFU’s top appropriations priorities, as previously submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives. Three of NFU’s main requests are to reject legislative riders or targeted funding restrictions for Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), oppose legislative riders that would undermine the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ability to write rules to provide greater fairness for livestock sellers and poultry growers, and fully fund 2014 Farm Bill energy programs at their maximum authorized levels.

“Both COOL and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) regulations survived attempts to defund or dismantle their important provisions. However, our opponents insist on rehashing old fights,” said Johnson.

“These sorts of proposed legislative riders ignore previous congressional decisions and create ongoing uncertainty for family farmers and ranchers,” said Johnson. “It is important that the subcommittee reject misguided attempts to undermine consumers’ right to know about their food through COOL or erode GIPSA’s authority to fight for fair markets.”

“Renewable energy programs are a win-win that boost farmers’ and ranchers’ bottom lines while reducing our country’s carbon footprint. Fully funding these and other 2014 Farm Bill programs should be appropriators’ highest priority,” Johnson said.

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 Expresses Tax Extenders Priorities PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (April 3, 2014) – Yesterday National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson sent a letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance leaders expressing priorities for the renewal of expiring tax provisions in advance of the committee’s markup of the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act.

Johnson praised Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for maintaining the $500,000 maximum deduction for farm machinery, which will help family farmers and ranchers improve their businesses.

The draft legislation also extends tax credits for biodiesel, cellulosic biofuels and energy efficiency but omits other crucial provisions, such as extensions of the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy. Johnson said, “Our country lacks a comprehensive, national energy strategy that moves us toward energy independence and helps mitigate the effects of climate change. These tax credits are some of the only policies we have that support the development of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar. Failure to renew these provisions would be taking a giant step backward.”

In the letter, Johnson also expressed disappointment in the legislation’s continuation of tax loopholes for the largest corporations. “Given the widening income inequality gap and our national debt, we cannot afford this sort of tax break,” said Johnson. “Every dollar lost because of these loopholes is one less dollar available to invest in jobs, infrastructure, food for the hungry or to reduce the deficit.”

Click here to read 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 Statement on Ryan Budget PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (April 1, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to U.S. House Committee on the Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s updated budget plan, which would cut overall federal spending by $5.1 trillion over the next ten years:

“Chairman Ryan’s budget proposal is partisan and impractical. The farm bill passed two months ago, with $23 billion in savings from reductions to farm, conservation and nutrition programs. Now the House Republican leadership wants to cut these programs again, by an additional $148 billion, and turn the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program into a block grant program? That ship has sailed. It’s time to move on to other important issues and to stop this annual exercise in budget slashing.” 

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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Farmers Union Leaders Attend WFO General Assembly PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (April 1, 2014) – Last week National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson, along with a delegation of Farmers Union leaders from across the country, attended the fourth World Farmers Organisation (WFO) general assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 25-29.

The general assembly focused on a number of timely issues, including women and beginning farmers, climate change, and contract agriculture production. Notably, the assembly agreed to forward a resolution on renewable energy, which was introduced by Johnson, to the WFO board of directors and asked that the board develop a process for consideration of that resolution at the next general assembly, to be held in 2015 in Milan, Italy.

“Last week’s meeting made great progress,” said Johnson. “Simply getting renewable energy policy on the global agriculture agenda, particularly a policy that refers to biofuels production, is an accomplishment. I look forward to continuing this forward-looking discussion during the coming year and at the next WFO gathering.”

Other members of the Farmers Union delegation included: 

  • Doug Peterson, Minnesota 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
  • Erin Schneider, Wisconsin Farmers Union member and NFU’s representative on the WFO Women’s Committee
  • Susan Carlson, Wisconsin and North Dakota Farmers Union member and WFO Women's Committee facilitator
  • David Velde, NFU general counsel

Robert Carlson, former North Dakota Farmers Union president, stepped down after serving for three years as the founding WFO president. The general assembly elected Peter Kendall, former president of the National Farmers’ Union in the United Kingdom, as its new president for a two-year term.

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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Administration’s Methane Strategy Recognizes Ag’s Role in Climate Change Mitigation PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
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WASHINGTON (March 28, 2014) – Today National Farmers Union (NFU) Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule issued the following statement on the administration’s release of its strategy to reduce methane emissions as a part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan:

“NFU is pleased that the administration’s strategy to reduce methane emissions recognizes that farmers and ranchers are important partners in the effort to solve our nation’s climate challenges. These efforts build on the robust support for renewable energy production included in the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill.

“Technologies such as methane digesters are underutilized, but can significantly reduce methane emissions. The strategy’s voluntary on-farm methane reduction opportunities, supported by financial and technical assistance, will add to farmers’ bottom lines and support rural economies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“I urge Congress to build on the Climate Action Plan and do its part to mitigate climate change by enacting legislation that puts a price on non-farm greenhouse gas emissions.

“Agencies must consider the impact on the climate when proposing regulatory changes, such as reducing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets, as both corn-based and cellulosic ethanol have been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline. Although I applaud the administration for today’s announcement, I hope it takes a consistent, comprehensive, long-term approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by restoring the original RFS volumes.”

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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