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Current NFU News
Beginning Farmer Institute Application Period Extended PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (March 3, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) has extended the application deadline for its 2014 Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI) program to April 7, 2014, due to additional sponsorships that will allow for more participants. 

The annual program, now accepting its fourth class of students, is open to individuals who are new to farming, are in the process of transferring an operation from a relative or non-relative to themselves, or are contemplating a career in farming or ranching.

"The Beginning Farmers Institute underscores NFU's commitment to growing a new generation of family agriculture," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "One unique feature of the Institute is that participants direct the agenda, allowing them to gain information on topics that will be most relevant to their particular operations. The size and diversity of the group also ensures valuable interaction and learning opportunities among the participants."

The BFI program helps students gain insight and practical skills needed by beginning farmers and ranchers, including business plan writing, financial planning, and researching available programs to help starting up and sustaining a successful operation.

Applicants accepted into the 2014 program will attend three separate education sessions. One session will be in Washington, D.C., one in Minneapolis, Minn., and a final session culminating at NFU's convention in March 2015 in Wichita, Kan. Program topics at the education sessions will include business planning, U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, tax and record keeping, estate transfer and marketing.

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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Trade Agreements Must Address Currency Manipulation PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 27, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Feb. 27, 2014) – Today National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson voiced support of recent remarks on currency manipulation by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin, D-Mich.

"It is encouraging to see two seasoned and respected congressional leaders reinforce NFU's long-held trade policy: every future trade agreement must address issues such as the trade-distorting effect of currency manipulation," said Johnson.

According to an Economic Policy Institute study, two TPP members, Malaysia and Singapore, are among the world's major currency manipulators and a third, Japan, has announced its intent to intervene in the exchange market to lower the value of the yen.

"Currency manipulation distorts the value of imported and exported goods and increases the likelihood that our existing trade deficit will only continue to rise," said Johnson. "U.S. negotiators must affirm a goal of decreasing the enormous U.S. trade deficit, which harms our economy and destroys U.S. jobs. I urge our congressional allies to continue their stance against currency manipulation and reject any attempt to pass misguided agreements that reinforce the inequality of our trade playing field."

Sen. Brown and Rep. Levin stated during a Feb. 26 telephone press conference that Congress would not grant the president trade promotion authority or approve a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement unless it includes disciplines on currency manipulation, an issue still outstanding in the negotiations.

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’s 2014 College Conference on Cooperatives a Success PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 18, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Feb. 18, 2014) – More than 135 students from the United States and Puerto Rico participated in the National Farmers Union (NFU) College Conference on Cooperatives last week. The students learned how cooperative businesses are adapting to changing environments in order to succeed and heard from cooperative experts from across the nation on why member-owned businesses are thriving in industries ranging from senior housing to healthcare.

“This is an opportunity for the cooperative community to teach young people about cooperative business principles and to show them that there are great careers in these dynamic, ethical and community-minded businesses,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. 

To bring cooperative education to life students toured housing, retail, and marketing cooperatives in Minneapolis and St. Paul. They visited the headquarters of CHS Inc., the nation’s largest agricultural cooperative. Students heard from cooperative leaders, farmers, and government experts who explained current challenges they face.

Presenters ranged from members, directors, employees and managers of traditional and value-added agricultural cooperatives to representatives of electric, housing, and worker-owned co-ops, as well as consumer cooperatives such as credit unions, REI and natural foods co-ops. These professionals offered insights on cooperative development here and abroad. 

“Farmers Union remains true to its roots of being an advocate for cooperative businesses and offering education programs, so it’s incredibly valuable to have events like this to help bring those topics together,” said Johnson. “Our own history is so closely tied with the cooperative movement. Cooperatives were made possible by legislative activity, and organized by farmers and ranchers to strengthen the economic opportunities in rural and urban communities. Farmers Union has a strong commitment to providing cooperative education not only to our own members, but also to the general public, and especially to young people, many of whom are just learning about the cooperative way of doing business.”

The conference was organized by National Farmers Union and sponsored by the CHS Foundation, CoBank, Farmers Union Industries Foundation, NFU Foundation, The Cooperative Foundation, SPIRE Federal Credit Union, CHS Inc., Minnesota Cooperative Education Foundation, Federated Youth Foundation and Organic Valley.    

To learn more, visit www.nfu.org/education or www.facebook.com/NFU.Education

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 Thankful for Farm Bill, Livestock Disaster Programs PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 14, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement to expedite assistance to farmers and ranchers suffering through the California drought and other recent calamities:

“The purpose and benefits of the recently enacted farm bill are evident once again with the extreme drought in California. Farmers, ranchers and growers are suffering through very difficult conditions. Fortunately the 2014 Farm Bill includes permanently authorized disaster programs to help those most in need. President Obama has wisely expedited the implementation of these programs, which will be made available retroactive to losses suffered in 2012 and 2013.

“Sound agriculture policy, like the livestock disaster programs, are the among the reasons NFU supported the 2014 Farm Bill. I applaud the work of the President and USDA in getting the livestock disaster programs up and running in a time when they’re truly needed.”

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 Hosts 2014 College Conference on Cooperatives PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 13, 2014

Contact: Melisa Augusto, 202-314-3191
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WASHINGTON (Feb. 13, 2014) – Students from across the nation will gather in Minneapolis Feb. 14 -16, for National Farmers Union’s (NFU) College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC), to learn how cooperative businesses operate for the benefit of their customers. The annual event focuses on how and why cooperatives succeed in America's competitive business environment.

"In industries as varied as senior housing and child daycare to providing fertilizer and fuel to farmers, cooperatives are leading business models serving millions of Americans," said NFU President Roger Johnson.

The CHS Foundation, CoBank, Farmers Union Industries Foundation, National Farmers Union Foundation and others sponsor the NFU College Conference on Cooperatives. 

While in Minneapolis, students will be guests at CHS, the nation's leading and largest agricultural cooperative. The participants also will hear from cooperative leaders, farmers, and government experts who will explain the current challenges facing member-owned cooperatives. Additionally, the students will tour housing, retail and marketing cooperatives in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

"Our own history is very closely tied with the cooperative movement," said Johnson. "Farmers Union has a strong commitment to providing cooperative education not only to our own members, but also to the general public, and especially to young people."

For more information visit www.nfu.org/education.

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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