ST. PAUL (June 11, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is pleased the United States Senate passed the farm bill, and is optimistic the House of Representatives Republican leadership, with the help of the Democratic minority, will use common sense to compromise and negotiate a farm bill that benefits American family farmers and consumers.
“The Senate passing the farm bill is a step in the right direction, and one that family farmers have been waiting for and deserve, so in the next five years they can be certain there will be stability for programming for farmers while they provide food, fuel, and fiber to our nation,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Minnesota Farmers Union is pleased this legislation provides a strong safety net for farmers, a solid crop insurance program, as well as protections for livestock farmers. We will continue to work with members of Congress to get this farm bill done before extensions expire September 30.”
ST. PAUL (April 23, 2012) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members just returned from Washington, D.C. where they met with their senators and representatives to discuss farm policy.
“These fly-ins are so important because it gives the Minnesota Members of Congress an opportunity to hear what is really going on in the countryside,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Our members get some one-on-one time with their representatives and senators to tell them why it is important to have a farm bill done this year, how a strong energy policy helps sustain rural Minnesota, the importance of crop insurance and how decisions they make in Washington, D.C. impact folks in rural Minnesota.”
Agriculture is a primary driver of our rural and national economy, providing employment for one in 12 Americans, and is a job-creating industry based upon sustained production by approximately 2.2 million family farmers and ranchers.
Topics discussed during the fly-in were:
St. Paul (August 26, 2010) - On Friday, August 27, Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Vice President Gary Wertish of Renville and MFU member Tim Velde of Granite Falls will be attending the Department of Justice and the United States Department of Agriculture's workshop about the livestock industry where concentration in the livestock markets, buyer power, and the enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act will be discussed. The workshop will be held in Fort Collins, Colorado.
"The proposed rule changed for the Grain Inspection Stockyards and Packers Administration makes this workshop very timely, and Minnesota Farmers Union is proud to make sure livestock farmers have a seat at the table and their voices are heard," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. "The proposed rule change would end secret packer processor buying practices and hold packer processors accountable to competitive bid and market practices and we will be there to make sure that message and its importance are heard."
(August 20, 2010) - Balance of power issues in the poultry and livestock industries have been getting a lot attention lately.
The focal points for those debates have been the joint hearings held by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Justice and the new proposed Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule. The issues under debate have tended to center on relationships between livestock and poultry producers and the packers/integrators who process their animals. But some would argue that the more important but unacknowledged “elephant” in the livestock pen is the retail sector.
It is not that the changes that have occurred in food retailing haven’t been noticed by us all. Gone are the mom and pop grocery stores and small chains of the past. They have been bought out or driven out of business by the major grocery chains. We have also seen the introduction of groceries into general merchandise retailers like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target.
ST. PAUL (July 29, 2010) - It is that time of the year again when farmers, ranchers and over 40,000 attendees converge at the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls for Farmfest. This year Farmfest will be held August 3-5, and over 500 organizations and companies involved in farming will be there. Below are some of the highlights of Farmfest, but be sure to check out the Farmfest website, www.farmfest.com, to learn about all the activities.
As in years past, there is a lot of action under the forum tent. This year the forums include one with the congressional candidates running for federal office; a discussion on carbon credits; a governor candidate's forum; a discussion on the livestock industry; and the auctioneer championship. Farmers Union Agency will once again be sponsoring the Pedal Pull contest every day at 1 p.m. near entrance gate 2.
(March 17, 2010) - The Minnesota gray wolf should be removed immediately from the federal government's endangered and threatened species list and returned to state management, according to a petition filed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). An action supported by Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association and Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers.
"Minnesota's gray wolf population has clearly exceeded the recovery goals established under the federal Endangered Species Act," said Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap. "We have more wolves than every state except Alaska. Once the wolf is delisted, our state has an effective wolf management plan in place to ensure a viable gray wolf population in the future, while providing farmers and ranchers who suffer from wolf depredation more options for protecting their livestock."
According to the DNR, Minnesota's wolf population has more than doubled the delisting goal of 1,252-1,400 wolves with an estimated population of approximately 3,000 wolves. Human-wolf conflicts are on the rise. Since 1978, federal officials have removed more than 3,000 wolves from Minnesota in response to depredation of livestock.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson supports the DNRs petition.