St. Paul (March 8, 2012) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members return from the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention held in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The National Farmers Union Convention is important because it is a great display of grassroots policy-making,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “National Farmers Union members from throughout the country decide policies important to farmers, and give direction to Congress.”
Farmers Union delegates re-elected President Roger Johnson and Vice President Claudia Svarstad and passed special orders of business relating to investment priorities in the 2012 Farm Bill, the Market-Driven Inventory System, Country-of-Origin Labeling, dairy, beginning farmer programs, the beef checkoff, and cuts to rural U.S. Postal Service offices. You can view each Special Order here, http://nfu.org/policy-nfu/special-orders-of-business.
Members heard from numerous speakers, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.
(March 28, 2010) - Of all the political hot rocks farm groups are juggling now in Washington, D.C.-cap-and-trade, cuts in crop insurance, shrinking farm program budgets-I'll bet you a cup of coffee you cannot name the issue that recently united ag heavyweights as diverse as the American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union.
That issue (cream and sugar, please) is the proposed changes in governance at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association that will give it a virtual lock on the tens of millions of dollars spent each year by the mandatory beef checkoff.
The move didn't go unnoticed by several farm groups. On March 18 they sent a toughly-worded, four-page letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that suggested NCBA's grab "will further erode the separation between the check-off side and the policy side" and "will move the checkoff towards more exclusivity rather than inclusivity."
What that means west of the Potomac, explains Nancy Robinson, vice president of government and industry affairs at the Livestock Marketing Association, is that checkoff- paying producers who are not members of NCBA-and 32 out of every 33 American cattle owners are not-need to be heard in checkoff issues.