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Aging Farm Population Opens Door For Beginning Farmers PDF Print E-mail

LOGO IYFF horizontal-EN







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2014

Contact: David Thews, 202-554-1600
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WASHINGTON (July 1, 2014) – In celebration of the United Nations’ 2014 International Year of Family Farming, this month National Farmers Union (NFU) is highlighting opportunities for interested individuals to get into farming. According to the U.S. Census the average age of a farmer in the United States is 57. This is up from 54 in 1997. The percentage of farmers over 65 has increased by about 10 percent since 1969.

“With an aging farm workforce, there is a real need for new, beginning and transitioning farmers and ranchers to enter the agriculture sector,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “At the same time, as soldiers return home from tours abroad, they are looking for new employment opportunities. Farming is an excellent way for these men and women to transition back into the workforce.”

“NFU supports programs for beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as veterans, in order to ensure the future of our industry,” said Johnson.

National Farmers Union’s Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI) develops and encourages agricultural leaders from all backgrounds. Leadership training and farm management skills are taught to promising individuals eager to enter or expand their agricultural knowledge. According to the Farmer Veteran Coalition, as of 2009 there were 21.9 million veterans in the United States, including 1.5 million female veterans.

To support our efforts, we encourage everyone to get involved and join their local Farmers Union. Information can be found at www.nfu.org/membership.

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 Urges Congress to Stay the Course on COOL PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2014

Contact: David Thews, 202-554-1600
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WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to renewed efforts by opponents of Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) to repeal the consumer labeling requirements:

"The World Trade Organization's report on COOL's compliance with trade obligations has reportedly been transmitted to the U.S. government but not yet been made available to the public. Despite that fact, the multinational meatpackers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are pushing to repeal COOL without knowing the full findings of the WTO compliance study. Urging Congress to repeal COOL laws before the WTO report is issued is just another desperate attempt to prevent consumers from having access to basic information about their food. 

“NFU eagerly awaits the WTO report and will recommend a response if necessary. Consumers have a right to know where their food comes from and our family farmer and rancher members agree. The WTO has already ruled that the U.S. COOL law is acceptable. There are many policy or regulatory options – if any are needed – that can be adopted in order to comply, although NFU feels the current COOL regulations are WTO-compliant."

 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 Holds 78th All-States Leadership Camp for Rural Youth PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2014

Contact: David Thews, 202-554-1600
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WASHINGTON (June 30, 2014) – Young adults from across the country are returning home from Bailey, Colo., where they participated in National Farmers Union’s (NFU) All-States Leadership Camp.

“Our grassroots heritage includes an educational program for young leaders that is more than 75 years old,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The participants at All-States have gone on to be leaders in agriculture, cooperatives, and rural communities.”

Farmers Union campers come together each summer at the NFU Education Center to take part in cooperative activities and listen to several inspirational speakers. Campers heard from Andrew Jacobs of Co-Bank; Rulon Gardner, Olympic gold and bronze medalist in Greco-Roman Wrestling; and NFU leaders, including immediate past Vice President Claudia Svarstad.

This year’s camp focused on “Farming Means a World of Good,” reflecting the 2014 being declared the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. Campers learned to appreciate the cultural and economic value of family farm agriculture in America and worldwide.

“As a former camper, I understand the importance of building leaders in our industry at a young age,” said Johnson. “We are very proud of these young people and the tradition of NFU’s All-States Leadership Camp.”

The campers elected six of their peers to represent them nationwide. The 2014/2015 National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC) includes:  Nicollette Bitz, Napoleon, N.D.; RaeLyn Leier, Fargo, N.D.; Chris Nemec, Holabird, S.D.; Tyson Peppler, Colo.; Dayton Trujillo, DeSmet, S.D.; and Lexie Weber, New Rockford, S.D. NYAC duties include representing thousands of Farmers Union youth across the country, including working at the annual NFU Convention. These young Farmers Union leaders also help plan the next year’s NFU All-States Leadership Camp.

To participate in All-States Leadership Camp, Farmers Union members, ages 17-20, must meet specific criteria throughout the year. For more information, visit 
www.nfu.org/education/events/all-states-leadership-camp. All-States is sponsored by the FUI Foundation, Farm Credit, CoBank and CHS 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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CBO Study on RFS Deeply Flawed PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2014

Contact: David Thews, 202-554-1600
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WASHINGTON (June 27, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule issued the following statement in response to a study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):  

 “CBO’s claim that repealing the RFS would reduce gasoline prices is simply false. The RFS has reduced consumer demand for oil, and the study fails to take that into account. It is unfortunate that CBO, which is supposed to be objective, released such a flawed study that does not take into account the reality of fuel markets.”  

 “Study after study show that the RFS is saving consumers money. E85prices.com recently released data showing that consumers filling up with E85 can save an average of $0.61 less per gallon.”

 “Thankfully, the CBO study does acknowledge that the RFS is not driving up food prices. Additional studies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Bank clearly show that ethanol does not increase prices in the grocery store.”

 “The RFS is a successful policy tool that decreases our nation’s reliance on foreign oil, creates economic opportunities in rural America, and effectively decreases the greenhouse gas footprint of the transportation sector. CBO should have taken all of these benefits to consumers into consideration when performing the study.”

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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Family Farming Builds Tomorrow’s Rural Leaders PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2014

Contact: David Thews, 202-554-1600
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WASHINGTON (June 13, 2014) – In celebration of the United Nations’ 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), this month National Farmers Union (NFU) is highlighting the link between family farming and developing the next generation of rural leaders.

“NFU has a long history of growing the next generation of family farm advocates and leaders in their rural communities,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Our education programs place emphasis on leadership development, community engagement, and citizenship for members of all ages. Farmers Union members and participants in our youth programs have gone on to become innovative family farmers and ranchers, thought-leaders in agriculture, and elected officials from the local to the international level.”

This month, NFU will be highlighting outstanding young leaders in the organization and their contributions to their rural communities. In the developing world, empowering smallholder farmers, particularly women, to take on leadership roles within their communities, farmer-owned cooperatives and farm organizations can help them more effectively advocate for policies and practices that improve food security and reduce poverty.

“As we continue to celebrate IYFF and the work family farmers around the world are doing to feed, clothe and fuel the world, we encourage everyone to join our efforts, get involved locally and join Farmers Union,” said Johnson.

For more information about NFU’s education and leadership development programs, please 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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