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Dairy Crisis
Current NFU News
NFU: There Are Several Strong Grounds for COOL Appeal to WTO; Opponents Arguing Otherwise Are Doing So Out of Desperation PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nov. 6, 2014)

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
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WASHINGTON (Nov. 6, 2014) – Demands by Canadian competitors and the U.S. meatpacker industry to immediately rescind Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) before the World Trade Organization (WTO) has completed the dispute process are deceptive and premature because the United States has strong grounds to appeal the case, and should pursue a vigorous appeal, said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. 

“Recent comments by an attorney for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association that the law will inevitably be struck down should be seen for what they are: a paid advocate for a foreign competitor attempting to scare the U.S. Congress into hasty and unwarranted action,” said Johnson. “At each stage in the dispute, the WTO has increasingly found that COOL is legitimate and that the current rules provide valuable information to consumers,” he added.

The WTO dispute process is lengthy and unpredictable with many disputes lasting more than a decade. The recent WTO ruling overestimated the cost of the rule, underestimated the benefits of COOL labels, and inappropriately attributed the declining U.S. cattle imports during the economic recession to commonsense COOL labels. All of these areas present legitimate grounds for a strong appeal.

“The U.S. Congress should reject Canada’s absurd demand for unconditional surrender at the WTO,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The U.S. must pursue a vigorous appeal to defend the COOL labels that Congress enacted and not buckle to the Canadian cattle and U.S. meatpacker demands.”

Johnson noted that the repeated threats that the WTO will promptly and automatically award tremendous tariff penalties are scare tactics of the industry litigants, not the likely outcome of the dispute.

“American consumers want to know where their meat and vegetables come from and family farmers and ranchers are happy to provide that information,” said Johnson. “We urge the administration needs to take all necessary steps to make it permanent.”

Johnson also pointed out that opponents of COOL have lost four times in the U.S. courts and have been unable to derail the popular law at the WTO.  “This line of argument is nothing short of desperation, given they have lost every other avenue possible,” said Johnson.

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 Passage of Tax Extenders Package in Lame-Duck Session; Working with 114th US Congress on RFS, Farm Bill Implementation PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nov. 5, 2015)

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
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WASHINGTON (Nov. 5, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said today that tax breaks important to family farmers and ranchers need to be extended before the end of the year, and that NFU is looking forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to solve issues important to family farmers and ranchers.

“NFU will strongly pursue the extension of expiring tax provisions for small business expensing, and renewable energy during the upcoming lame-duck session of congress,” said Johnson. “Family farmers and ranchers rely on these provisions that are critical to managing their business.”

Johnson also noted that for well over 100 years, NFU has worked with members on both sides of the aisle and looks forward to continuing this tradition into the 114th Congress. 

 “Many of the issues that are most important to us –Renewable Fuel Standard and the full implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill – continue to enjoy strong bipartisan support in both chambers,” said Johnson. “We are looking forward to working with the new Congress to continue to advance those issues and make continued progress for family farmers, rural America and the nation as a whole.”

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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IYFF 2014: Family Farmers Play Significant Role in Eradicating World Hunger PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nov. 3, 2014)

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
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WASHINGTON (Nov. 3, 2014) – In celebration of the United Nations’ 2014 International Year of Family Farming, this month National Farmers Union (NFU) is highlighting the substantial impact family farmers have on world hunger and food security issues. 

“Family farming is the backbone of agriculture, not only in the United States, but worldwide,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The role family farmers play in addressing hunger, health and food security issues in both the U.S. and around the world, though not always adequately recognized, is significant.”

Family farms hold the responsibility of feeding more than 7 billion people, 805 million (one in nine) of which do not have enough food to lead a healthy life. One out of every six children is underweight, and poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 percent) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year. Despite these staggering numbers, conditions have dramatically improved in the last two decades, as prevalence of undernourishment has fallen from 18.7 to 11.3 percent globally.

Johnson noted the solutions family farms offer to solving hunger and health issues around the world. Smallholder farmers consistently have healthier soil and larger yields, and those who have diversified their crops have been most successful in increasing consumption of nutrient-dense foods. “Healthier food production leads to a healthier planet,” said Johnson. “Family farms provide a model for the world to diminish major health and hunger issues.”

According to the recent Census of Agriculture, 87 percent of U.S. farms are owned by families or individuals, and in 2012, there were 2.1 million farms in the U.S, with an average farm size of 418 acres. But according to that same census, those numbers of farms are falling, down more than four percent from 2007, while the average farm size has continued to grow.

“NFU has a role to play in ensuring that family farmers remain competitive and productive,” said Johnson. “Farmers Union is continually fighting at the local, state, and national levels to ensure family farmers well-being so that they may continue to play an integral role in eradicating hunger and health issues worldwide.

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 2015 Women’s Conference Registration Now Available PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nov. 3, 2014)

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
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NFU’s 2015 Women’s Conference Registration Now Available

WASHINGTON (Nov. 3, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) today announced the opening of registration for the 2015 NFU Women’s Conference, a conference for farm and rural women. The national event, set for Jan. 17-21, 2015, in Clearwater, Fla., will provide participants with tools and information to confidently manage business risks on their farm or ranch operations and improve their rural leadership skills. 

“This conference builds on our experience in providing adult education classes specifically designed for women in agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “It will also help women find new ways to balance the demands of family, community and professionalism within the agricultural community."

NFU and Annie’s Project —a ten-year educational program dedicated to strengthening women's roles in the modern farm enterprise— are teaming up to provide women across the country with a conference experience that will include brief presentations and extended discussions with women agriculture professionals on topics of importance to their future.

Attendees will learn about decision-making resources and practice management principles through hands-on activities. Topics to be covered include financial ratios, communication styles, estate planning, marketing information, break-even price points, farmland leasing and USDA programs. A strong emphasis will be on learning new skills for women leaders in agriculture and peer-to-peer networking.

The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Clearwater, Fla. The $175 registration fee will cover most meals and conference materials. Those interested in participating are urged to register early, as capacity is limited. Full payment must accompany registration and be received by Jan. 2, 2015. More information and registration details are available at www.nfu.org/education.

The conference is sponsored by Farm Credit, CoBank, the FUI Foundation, NFU Foundation and USDA.

Click here to register.

Click here for the tentative agenda.

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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COOL Wins Fourth Victory in U.S. Courts, NFU to Multinational Meat Industry: Drop the Senseless Litigation PDF Print E-mail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Oct. 31, 2014)

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
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WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2014) - The following statement was issued by National Farmers Unions President Roger Johnson in response to the denial by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the petition submitted by the multinational meat packers for a rehearing and supplemental relief on its challenge to enforcement of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).

“Yet again, the U.S. courts have sided with consumers, farmers and their allies and have upheld the enforcement of COOL. This is now the fourth time that COOL has won in court. 

“COOL became the law of the land because consumers want to know where their food comes from and ranchers and farmers are happy to provide that information. Congress understood this basic need and passed this common-sense law.  We urge the multinational meat industry to drop the senseless litigation and allow the law to be enforced.”

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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