St. Paul (June 4, 2012) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson is leading a delegation of National Farmers Union Presidents at the World Farmers Organization (WFO) General Assembly in Rome, Italy, June 6-9.
“This is a great opportunity to hear from farmers from around the world about what works and does not work for their agriculture community,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Leading the National Farmers Union delegation on this trip will include telling other attendees about the plights of the small family farmer across the United States and how we fight for prosperity for rural folks.”
The objective of the General Assembly is to provide an opportunity to discuss WFO‘s statutory issues; as well as offer the possibility to farmers associations to discuss and share experiences in agriculture related key issues including trade, food security, climate change, education and awareness raising programs; sharing experiences on outreach activities, special programs, services, products; collecting best practices and case studies; stimulate cooperation and partnership among WFO’s members and agriculture related organizations; and build an interactive platform for sharing experiences and cooperation network.
(February 4, 2011) - There was a time when one could legitimately argue that there was a lack of scientific agreement over the issue of the role of humans in global warming and even whether we were in a cooling or warming period. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the scientific evidence.
Scientists have long known that carbon dioxide traps heat. There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than anytime in the last 800,000 years—that’s based on measurements of air bubbles trapped over the centuries in Arctic and Antarctic ice, not conjecture. The rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere coincides with the beginning of the industrial age and the widespread use of fossil fuels. And as our use of fossil fuels increases, so does the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
In addition, research has shown that two additional compounds, methane and nitrous oxide also contribute to global warming. Both of these chemicals are more potent than carbon dioxide in retaining heat in the atmosphere. The amount of methane now in the atmosphere is 121 percent above its highest level prior to industrialization.
St. Paul (September 17, 2010) - Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members joined 200 farmers and ranchers from across the country in Washington, D.C., for National Farmers Union's legislative fly-in September 13-15.
"The importance of having Minnesota Farmers Union members out in Washington D.C. is immeasurable because it allows them to speak directly to our representatives and senators about proposed legislation and how that legislation would impact them and ways to make positive changes to the bill in order to create better solutions for rural Minnesota, improving the legislation before it becomes law," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. "We discussed the upcoming farm bill, ending the dairy crisis, the opportunities opening up trade in Cuba would provide to our farmers, and the need for the proposed rule changes on the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration to be approved. It was an educational trip for MFU members and Members of Congress alike."
St. Paul (November 5, 2009) - Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is having their annual state convention Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22 at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis.
"Every year since 1942, Farmers Union members have gathered to develop our state policy from ideas they bring to the table," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. "We then take that policy to the state and federal level and fight for the issues important to our members! During policy debate this year, some of the issues I expect we will be discussing are health care, climate change, and fair pricing for livestock and grain production."
Along with policy discussion, there will be elections for both Farmers Union President and Vice President. Doug Peterson, current MFU President, is running for re-election unopposed; and long-time MFU Vice President, Dennis Sjodin, has decided to not run for re-election. There are four candidates for Vice President, and they are: Tim Henning of Adrian, Scott Hoese of Mayer, Tim Velde of Granite Falls, and Gary Wertish of Renville.
St. Paul (September 17, 2009) - Minnesota Farmers Union members joined 200 farmers and ranchers from across the country in Washington, D.C., for National Farmers Union's legislative fly-in September 14-16.
"Having our members out in Washington D.C. allows them to talk directly to our representatives in Congress, putting a face to the problems of rural Minnesotans," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. "We discussed the importance of helping our dairy farmers and hog farmers, the need for rural Americans to receive quality health care, and urged the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Representatives and pass comprehensive climate change legislation that ensures that farmers will be involved, and that the United States Department of Agriculture is granted control and administration of the agriculture offset program."
(August 2, 2009) - One of the basic rules of my incredibly successful one-dog, two-ink pen operation is that if the government wants to give some of my tax money back I take it.
Depreciation? Thank you. Double declining balance, three-backflips depreciation? Thank you very much.
That simple principle, however, was trampled July 22 when a Senate Ag Committee hearing took a look at the recently passed, farmer-friendly, House climate change legislation.
While the House plan is complex, everyone-Dems and Repubs, cowboys and plowboys, geniuses and (ahem) journalists alike-agree: the ag side of the House plan will net farmers and rural communities billions in the coming decades.
Indeed, recent studies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and Iowa State University all point to how juicy carbon trading will be for American farmers and landowners.
But that clear message was muddied at the Senate hearing. Several Repub aggies complained that farmers would be big losers under cap-and-trade. Leading the charge was Mike Johanns, this year the junior senator from Nebraska, last year the secretary of agriculture.
ST. PAUL (July 29, 2009) - The 28th annual Farmfest will be held August 4-6 at the Gilfillan Estate in Redwood County, Minnesota and both Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) and National Farmers Union (NFU) will be represented.
New NFU President Roger Johnson will be in attendance Tuesday, August 4 and in the morning of Wednesday, August 5 and will be on a panel titled, "Climate change. Challenges and opportunities for agriculture," at 1:15 on Tuesday, August 4. MFU President Doug Peterson will be on a panel on Wednesday, August 5 at 10:30 titled, "The Minnesota ag industry. Where are we at and where are we going?"
"The proximity of our Farmers Union booth just west of the forum tent gives members and farmers a great place to come by and discuss what they heard from the speakers, and to talk about rural issues," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. "NFU President Roger Johnson will be at the booth to discuss the importance of agriculture in the climate change debate and to talk to farmers about what's on their mind. Be sure to stop by our booth, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of water and say hello."
Congressman Tim Walz is scheduled to be at the MFU booth at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4.
(July 5, 2009) - Once, during a friendly debate over global warming, I asked a well-informed acquaintance what the consequences were if he was wrong in his insistence that global warming was simply Al Gore's revenge for the 2000 presidential election.
"Well," he replied after a long pause to, I guess, stare 40 years into the future, "if I'm wrong my grandchildren will curse my name."
That introspective reply come to mind after the narrow, 219 to 212 U.S. House of Representative's vote June 26 to approve sweeping climate change legislation that, the New York Times noted, will "transform the way the nation produces and uses energy."
A funny thing happened on the way to that sausage-making, though: Big ag was big-time opposed to any climate legislation unless it got a piece of the pork pie during the transformation. The initial bill, pushed by Californian Henry Waxman, contained not one morsel for agriculture.
So House Ag Committee boss Collin Peterson marshaled farm and commodity groups to help him wring major concessions from Waxman and his sky-is-(ahem)-warming allies. In the end, most of ag's biggest wishes were granted and the Peterson amendment-with its rock solid aggie vote-became part of the Waxman package.
WASHINGTON (June 15, 2009) - National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson last week told the House Agriculture Committee NFU could not support climate change legislation, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, as passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Johnson made the following statement.
"If the legislation approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee is not improved with regard to agricultural offsets, National Farmers Union will urge members of Congress to vote against the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
"NFU has been proactive and constructive throughout the legislative process and would very much like to support climate change legislation. However, the Energy and Commerce Committee failed to adequately address any of our priorities.
"NFU policy supports a national, mandatory carbon emission cap and trade system to reduce non-farm greenhouse gas emissions if the U.S. Department of Agriculture is granted control and administration of the agriculture offset program, early actors are recognized, no artificial cap is placed on domestic offsets, carbon sequestration rates are based upon science and producers are permitted to stack environmental benefit credits.
St. Paul (April 17, 2009) - Farmers Union is advocating for the inclusion of a robust and voluntary agriculture offset program in climate change legislation, urging lawmakers to support legislation that addresses the unique role America's agriculture producers can play in combating global climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced that it plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on the grounds that these pollutants pose a danger to the public's health and welfare.
"Because agriculture and forestry lands have the potential to sequester nearly 25 percent of all annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, it is critical that a flexible offset program, that ensures maximum voluntary participation by the agricultural and forestry communities, is developed," said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union President.