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Dairy Crisis
Current NFU News
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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NFU Applauds Appellate Court’s Decision Not to Enjoin COOL Labels 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 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied plaintiffs’ appeal of a denial of their request for a preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction would prevent revised Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations from remaining in effect while the plaintiffs’ lawsuit challenging the COOL regulations proceeds. Today’s ruling affirms a Sept. 11, 2013, decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that also denied the request for a preliminary injunction. As a result of today’s decision, the revised COOL regulations will remain in place while the case is pending.

“I am extremely pleased with today’s decision,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president. “Yet again, claims that the revised COOL regulations are unconstitutional or inconsistent with the COOL statute have been rejected in federal court.”

“Today’s decision notes that COOL advances legitimate values, including consumer information and consumer choice. The Court of Appeals also explained that COOL labels can be seen as a sign that retailers ‘take pride in identifying the source of their products.’ NFU’s family farmer- and rancher-members certainly take pride in the products they produce, and I am glad that consumers will be able to continue to identify their products at retail as a result of today’s decision.”

Today’s decision is the latest setback for plaintiffs who filed the case in an effort to have the revised COOL regulations invalidated. The case was filed on July 8, 2013, by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American Meat Institute, Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Canadian Pork Council, North American Meat Association, American Association of Meat Processors, National Pork Producers Council, Southwest Meat Association and Mexico’s National Confederation of Livestock Organizations.

NFU, together with the United States Cattlemen’s Association, the American Sheep Industry Association and the Consumer Federation of America, intervened to defend the COOL regulations from challenge, and they actively participated in a briefing at the District Court and the Court of Appeals, as well as the preliminary injunction hearing at the District Court.

Johnson is currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the World Farmers Organization’s fourth general assembly, where many of the speakers have discussed the need for farmers to connect more directly with consumers and be more transparent to enhance consumer confidence.

“I note that plaintiffs may seek to have today’s decision reheard by the full Court of Appeals. If they do so, NFU will continue to defend COOL on behalf of our members,” said Johnson. “In the meantime, producers and consumers will continue to benefit from improved origin information as the revised COOL regulations remain in effect.”

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 EPA's Proposed Clean Water Act Rule PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 202-314-3108
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2014) – Chandler Goule, National Farmers Union (NFU) senior vice president of programs, issued the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule regarding provisions of the Clean Water Act:

“NFU has long advocated for increased certainty surrounding Clean Water Act requirements for family farmers and ranchers in the wake of complicating Supreme Court decisions. Today’s draft rule clarifies Clean Water Act jurisdiction, maintains existing agricultural exemptions and adds new exemptions, and encourages enrollment in U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs.

“In addition, farmers and ranchers who are voluntarily enacting certain conservation practices on their farms will be exempt from Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting requirements.

“Today’s ag-friendly announcement clearly indicates that NFU and other agricultural stakeholders made their voices heard, and EPA took notice. I encourage EPA to continue to rebuild trust with the agricultural community by withdrawing its proposal to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard targets.”

Click here to read NFU’s 2013 comments on an initial draft of the proposed rule.

Click here for more information on the proposed rule.

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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