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NFU Members Recognize the International Year of Family Farming PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) members kicked off the organization’s annual policy debate with a special order of business celebrating 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, as recognized by the United Nations.

“The International Year of Family Farming recognizes the important contributions that family farming can make to improving food security and eradicating poverty around the world. Family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in both developing and developed countries,” the special order states.

Globally, 870 million people are suffering from chronic undernourishment and a disproportionate number of them are farmers. Forty-five percent of the global population makes its living directly from farming, and the majority of the world’s farmers are women that produce up to 80 percent of the world’s food. In the United States, family farms still constitute 96 percent of all farms. The agriculture sector contributes more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy, employs approximately 14 percent of the total workforce and accounts for nearly 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

The special order recognizes “the importance of raising the profile of family farming by focusing the world’s attention on its significant role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development in rural areas.”

NFU urges the U.S. Congress and the administration to do its part in officially recognizing the International Year of Family Farming and to celebrate family farming’s important role in various ways throughout the year. It also encourages countries, national organizations and states to undertake activities in support of the year.

Click here to read the special order of business.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

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 Bestows Highest Honor at Convention PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) honored Stan Brown, Don Davis and Dallas Tonsager with the award for Meritorious Service to Farmers Union and American Agriculture during its 112th Anniversary Convention this week.

“The three gentlemen honored this year exhibit sincere dedication to Farmers Union and family agriculture in this country,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

“Stan Brown dedicated 43 years of his career to Farmers Union insurance, including 14 years as general manager of the Midwest Agency,” said Johnson. “Under his leadership, we saw great business success and built invaluable relationships. We are truly grateful for his loyalty to our organization.”

“Don Davis has held numerous leadership positions with several Farmers Union organizations, most recently returning as CEO of Farmers Union Industries. Under Don’s leadership Farmers Union Industries has grown from $49 million in sales to $185 million in sales,” said Johnson. “Through Don’s leadership, the ability of five state farmers union organizations to secure a strong and consistent financial base has been achieved. He has consistently demonstrated his knowledge and commitment to empowering farmers in ways that improve producer income and be engaged in a competitive marketplace.”

“Dallas Tonsager has 35 years of agricultural, business, cooperative and financial experience through his work as a farmer, businessman and community, state and national leader,” said Johnson. “He served two terms as South Dakota Farmers Union president, held several leadership positions in the industry, and retired after holding the position of U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development. Tonsager committed his tenure as under secretary to making the Rural Energy Assistance Program (REAP) a nationwide program instead of being concentrated in the Midwest.”

Meritorious Service Awards honor those who have made particularly noteworthy contributions to agriculture, humanity and Farmers Union. This honor is the highest award the NFU Board of Directors can bestow upon an individual.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

 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 Rocky Mountain Ag Commissioners on Panel PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson moderated a panel today at NFU’s 112th Anniversary Convention on agriculture issues in the Rocky Mountain states. The panelists included Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar, New Mexico Director/Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, and Wyoming Director of Agriculture Jason Fearneyhough.
 
“As a former agriculture commissioner, I appreciate the issues these gentlemen addressed, from managing extremes in water resources, to endangered species designations, to helping consumers understand the difficulties of agriculture production and working across the political aisle to enact favorable policies,” said Johnson.
 
The panelists also discussed their efforts to work with other federal, state and local officials to ensure these agencies recognize the realities of farming and ranching while writing regulations that affect agricultural production.
 
“Today’s panel was informative for our members from across the country, while also reminding us that family farmers and ranchers are all facing similar challenges – regardless of geographical location,” said Johnson. “It was an honor to be joined by each of these state agriculture officials.”
 
For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.
 
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 Delegates Re-Elect Johnson, Elect Teske Vice President PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – Delegates at the National Farmers Union (NFU) 112th Anniversary Convention re-elected Roger Johnson president of the organization and Donn Teske, Kansas Farmers Union president, NFU vice president.

“I am grateful that the membership will allow me to serve for two more years,” said Johnson. “I am honored to lead this organization and am looking forward to working with Donn to continue the time-honored traditions of Farmers Union.”

Johnson is NFU’s 14th president, a position he has held since 2009. Johnson hails from a family farm near Turtle Lake, N.D., and grew up as an active member of Farmers Union. Prior to his post at Farmers Union, he was the North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture.

“I am so humbled by the faith and trust the delegates have shown by electing me vice president,” said Teske. “ I’ll do my best to help President Johnson move the organization forward under the direction of the grassroots policy formed here today.

Teske was elected from a field of three candidates, and replaces former NFU Vice President Claudia Svarstad, who did not seek re-election.

Teske has served as Kansas Farmers Union president since 2000 and is a fifth generation farmer in northeast Kansas.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

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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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Delivers NFU Convention Keynote Address PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2014

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
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SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed attendees of the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) 112th anniversary convention this morning, highlighting the important contributions family farmers and ranchers make to our country’s food, energy, economic, environmental and national security. His keynote remarks on implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill set the tone for the afternoon’s upcoming policy discussion.

“For more than two years the secretary has been almost singularly focused on getting a new, comprehensive, five-year farm bill through a dysfunctional Congress to provide certainty for family farmers, ranchers and the food insecure. It is refreshing to hear him instead be able to celebrate our hard-fought farm bill victories in a forward-looking address,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to put forward all resources possible to quickly roll out the commodity programs even though we are in the midst of the 2014 crop year.”

During his remarks, the Secretary announced new and expanded efforts to connect small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations.

“The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape,” said Vilsack. “USDA is taking a hard look at our existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes. We’ve adjusted policies, strengthened programs and intensified outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers. These producers are critical to our country’s agricultural and economic future.”

“The administration’s efforts to reinvigorate family farmers in the shrinking middle will provide valuable resources to the family farmers and ranchers who most need education, credit and technical assistance and build the future of the rural economy,” said Johnson.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

 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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