National Farmers Union E-news

NFU E-News
Issue 296 ~ September 29, 2016
Education News Releases
Membership Calendar Price Barometer
Senator Stabenow Announces Urban Agriculture Bill
Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) championed new legislation this week that fosters opportunities for urban agriculture. The Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 would expand U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs to support urban farmers, encouraging food production, job creation, urban revitalization and diversity in agriculture production.
“Urban agriculture plays an important role in reconnecting the food consumer with the farmer. It is also a part of meeting rising food demands, supplying easier access to highly nutritious vegetables and fruits, and establishing new market opportunities for emerging farmers. NFU supports Ranking Member Stabenow’s efforts towards ensuring emerging and existing urban producers have the tools and resources to join rural producers in maintaining a sustainable food system,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
Consumers growing demand to understand how and where food is grown has shifted the way we think about agriculture production today, Johnson explained. “Urban agriculture helps to bridge the farm-to-fork divide,” while creating direct marketing opportunities that can catalyze growth for small and beginning farmers.
Read more on NFU’s support for the bill here.
Dave Velde, NFU General Counsel and Vice President of International Relations
NFU VP of International Relations Represents World’s Farmers
Last week, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly passed a historic declaration aimed at tackling antibiotic resistant bacteria. It marked only the fourth time in the U.N.’s 71-year history that it called on world leaders to address a health issue, commensurate with HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and Ebola.
National Farmers Union (NFU) General Counsel and Vice President of International Relations Dave Velde was on hand to represent the world’s farmers at the U.N. high-level meeting.
“In the worldwide discussion on tackling antibiotic resistance, we need to promote cooperation among the different stakeholders to agree on a common approach and a clear understanding of the issue, while ensuring that producers are not disproportionately burdened in our solution to the problem,” said Velde.
Read more on the meeting and Velde’s remarks in this NFU news release.
Positions Open in NFU Washington D.C. Office
Would you like to work on behalf of nearly 200,000 family farmers, ranchers and rural communities? Come join our team in Washington, D.C.!
NFU is seeking a government relations representative, a communications coordinator, and a FSMA project coordinator.
The Government Relations Representative will be responsible for researching, disseminating information and lobbying on behalf of NFU policy issues.
The application period closes October 7! View the position description here.
The Communications Coordinator will be responsible for creating and distributing a wide variety of written and visual elements including publications, digital media content, news releases, talking points, charts, and presentations. He or she will work with the Communications Director to target key audiences and expand the reach of NFU’s external communications.
The application period closes October 21. View the position description here.
The FSMA Project Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the programmatic aspects of the FSMA Local Foods Project at National Farmers Union Foundation, including serving as liaison with partner organizations; assisting in preparation of project proposals, schedules and budget; and monitoring and tracking progress.
View the position description here.
New on the Climate Column: Forage and Grazing Lands
Grazing lands continue to be under pressure from a number of factors, like cropland conversion, wildlife, an increase in forestation, urbanization, and climate change. But proper management of grazing lands can both meet individual farm and ranch livestock production goals and play a role in increasing soil carbon sequestration.
Check out this week’s installment of the NFU Climate Column on forage and grazing lands. You can also join the NFU Climate Leaders Facebook group for more on the conversation!
Growing for the Future: Free Registration Open Now!
NFU has opened registration for Growing for the Future, a brand new online conference for beginning farmers and ranchers!
This interactive, virtual conference will be held December 5-8, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. EST, and the resources from the conference will be available for a month following the conference. It will focus on all sorts of beginning farmer and rancher issues, including: mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, student loans, land tenure, food safety, women and veterans in farming, conservation and much more!
Growing for the Future will feature a number of top speakers in agriculture, farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q & A, a discussion board, a resource center and free giveaways!
Registration is free, so sign up now and invite your friends to join us in December!
Click here for more information, or register now!

NFU Joins in Promoting Safe Practices During National Farm Safety and Health Week
WASHINGTON (September 20, 2016) – As farmers are preparing to begin the fall harvest, National Farmers Union (NFU) joined in the effort to promote safe practices on and around the farm during National Farm Safety and Health Week. President Barack Obama designated farm safety week to reaffirm support for programs and practices that promote health and safety on America’s farms.
“We’re glad to see the White House designate a week to building awareness of farm safety programs and promoting safe practices on and around the farm. Whether you’re a one-time visitor or a multi-generation farm family, farm safety education can help keep everyone safe from avoidable accidents and casualties,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
NFU Condemns Bayer/Monsanto Deal, Asks for Critical Review of Consolidation in Ag
WASHINGTON (September 14, 2016) – In response to today’s announcement of a $66 billion merger deal between Bayer AG and Monsanto Co., National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:
“Consolidation of this magnitude cannot be the standard for agriculture, nor should we allow it to determine the landscape for our future. The merger between Bayer and Monsanto marks the fifth major deal in agriculture in the last year, preceded by an approval of the Syngenta/ChemChina acquisition and proposed mergers between Dow/DuPont, Potash Corp./Agrium and John Deere/Precision Planting LLC.
NFU Beginning Farmer Institute participants hear from Sarah Campbell, USDA FSA’s new beginning farmer regional coordinator
NFU Beginning Farmer Institute Begins with Learning Session in Washington D.C.
NFU’s Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) convened in Washington, D.C., for the first of three learning sessions that will take place during the next year. Seventeen beginning farmers, representing demographical, geographical and production diversity in agriculture, attended the two-day session.
The first session’s agenda was developed by the input of the beginning farmers and focused on advocacy, conservation, and farm credit. In addition, attendees toured local Arcadia Farm in Alexandria, Va., and the USDA Farmers Market in Washington, D.C., to learn about sustainable farming practices and business management.
NFU’s BFI provides beginning farmers and ranchers with hands-on technical training that emphasizes many of the challenges beginning farmers may face in their careers, enabling them to be successful in their operations and in this industry.

The BFI program is made possible through the generous support of CHS Foundation, Farm Credit and Farmers Union Industries Foundation. The next program session will be held in Northern California in early November 2016.

BFI participants tour Common Good City Farm in Washington, D.C.
NFU Farm Safety Video Series
NFU released a series of farm safety videos in June. Through these 10 short videos, we hope to build mass awareness to farm safety issues and contribute to reducing the number of annual farm-related accidents.
The short videos are on these farm safety topics:
  1. General Safety
  2. Power Take-Off
  3. Roll-Over Protection
  4. ATVs
  5. Grain Bins & Augers
  6. Livestock Handling
  7. Transporting Equipment
  8. Handling Chemicals
  9. Electrical Safety
  10. Behavioral Hazards & Child Safety

Visit our website ( to find all of the videos that pertain to your operation, and share with your friends, family and neighbors to help prevent farm-related accidents and casualties! You can also order them here on DVD or USB.

Congress is in Session, Reach Out To Your Elected Officials Today!
Farmers Union members from across the country traveled to Washington, D.C. in early September to talk advocate on behalf of family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.
Join their efforts by checking out the 2016 NFU Fall Legislative Fly-In Talking Points, and calling your members of Congress today!
The Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121.

Hawaii Farmers Union President Vincent Mina and Federation of Southern Cooperatives Executive Director Cornelius Blanding “hang loose” after the NFU board meeting.
NFU, Federation of Southern Cooperatives Explore Partnership
NFU President Roger Johnson attended the Federation of Southern Cooperatives 49th Anniversary Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama. Roger had the opportunity to speak with the Federation’s Board of Directors about the work and programs of National Farmers Union.
Membership Director Tom Bryant attended the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Annual Meeting in Epes. Alabama. The meeting is a two-day event that combines the regular business of the Federation with educational sessions featuring guest presenters and hands on sessions to develop new skills for the membership. Tom was able to meet with many members of the Federation during his two days in Epes.
In September, Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, attended the NFU board meeting in Washington, DC. Cornelius sat in on board sessions to learn more about NFU and its program, and provided the NFU board with more information about the history and programs of the Federation.
Rev. Wendell Paris gives a passionate opening address to the Federation business meeting, reminding everyone in attendance of the struggle of family farmers in an increasingly consolidated and imbalanced economy.

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives was founded in 1967 by leaders of the Civil Rights movement that understood the success of their movement was tied to the resources available to them from local black farmers. Black land loss in the southeast has decimated many farming communities. The Federation is dedicated to helping preserve black owned farmland, creating new opportunities for the membership through cooperative development programs, and providing educational opportunities so their members can improve their farm operations.

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the National Farmers Union are exploring options to work more closely together in the future. These two great agricultural organizations share many common goals, like cooperative development, educational opportunities for their members, and support for the family farmer.

Member Benefit Highlight: DripWorks
NFU members receive a 10%discount on retail purchases. For discounts up to 25%, NFU members are invited to take advantage of DripWorks’ one-step signup process for wholesale pricing. DripWorks provides quality drip irrigation supplies and equipment to people wanting to reap the savings and benefits of using drip irrigation.
Visit to become a member and start saving today.

Visit for a complete listing of all NFU membership benefits.

Farmers Union Insurance
Farmers Union Insurance has always been a community-based insurance provider. Founded by Farmers Union leaders in 1945, the company offers personalized, relationship-based service to farmers and rural residents across the Rocky Mountain and upper Midwest states. Last year alone Farmers Union Insurance provided more than 90,000 policies.
In 2005 Farmers Union Insurance was integrated into the Americas division of the international QBE Insurance Group. As part of the QBE family, Farmers Union Insurance continues to offer quality care and protection to policyholders. Together, QBE and Farmers Union work to maintain the Farmers Union brand to ensure that America’s farmers, ranchers and rural residents know that Farmers Union respects and supports their economic needs and livelihoods.
It is an exciting time for Farmers Union Insurance. By working with QBE, Farmers Union Insurance is poised to expand its offerings to new regions and enhance its product line. New products are ready to be rolled out under the Farmers Union brand that will allow family farmers, ranchers and rural residents to choose a policy that is better tailored for their needs. There are imminent plans to expand the geographic offering of Farmers Union Insurance beyond the current footprint and to further support our Nation’s rural communities.
Looking to get the most out of your insurance policy or know a farmer who is? Remember that by choosing a Farmers Union Insurance product you are supporting your state Farmers Union as well as National Farmers Union’s 114 year old effort to advocate on behalf of the American family farm.

Farmers Union Insurance – A QBE Group Partner

Hastings Mutual Partnership
Farmers Union members join for lots of different reasons, but a very fundamental reason is a business reason. They want to get added-value from their membership for their farming operation. In the states where Hasting Mutual Insurance Company operates, the added-value is a very high-quality health insurance partnership that provides many of the insurance products farmers across the country need.
Hastings Mutual provides members top farm insurance products as well as other great coverages including home, auto and commercial insurance. The company operates in six Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Last year alone, the partnership garnered over 500 new memberships in those states.
Know a farmer in one of these six states? Tell them to contact their state farmers union or a Hastings insurance agent in their area to receive discounts on their farm owners policy premium.
Watch the Hastings Mutual/NFU partnership video here.
Visit our website to learn more about your state farmers union. Call Hastings Mutual at 1-800-442-8277 to find an agent near you.

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OK SW NEWS - - Bob Moore - 580-695-0331 -