116th National Farmers Union Convention Concludes, AFR's Terry Detrick Pleased with Policies SetWed, 07 Mar 2018 10:22:47 CST
The National Farmers Union (NFU) 116th Anniversary Convention concluded today following the adoption of the organization’s policy book and special orders of business. Nearly 500 family farmers and ranchers convened in Kansas City, Missouri, to engage in thoughtful policy deliberations and celebrate family agriculture.
Delegates to the convention adopted the NFU Policy Book and special orders of business that will guide the organization’s government affairs priorities over the course of the next year, especially as they relates to the current farm economic crisis and upcoming deliberations on the 2018 Farm Bill. Delegates also reelected Roger Johnson as NFU President, and elected Patty Edelburg of Scandinavia, Wisconsin, to serve as NFU Vice President.
“Our members put their heart and soul into this organization and into the advocacy we do for family farmers and ranchers across the country. So our grassroots policy adoption process is the main focus of our annual convention,” said Johnson. “This year’s deliberations had a clear emphasis on providing meaningful support to farmers struggling amidst a sharp decline in profitability. Delegates also passed policy and special orders of business focusing on supporting family farmers’ ability to earn an honest living, protect natural resources, build up their communities, and provide for the nation.”
American Farmers & Ranchers, based in Oklahoma, is the NFU's single largest state affiliate organization. AFR President Terry Detrick says it is important that Oklahoma's values are included in the process of setting policy for the national association. He asserts the more conservative position that AFR often takes offsets some of the more populist views in other states.
"There's a much more liberal content that's out there and we are a major part of being able to add balance to the organization everywhere we can," Detrick said. "I've been told by leadership of NFU, we give them balance. To me, I think that's a compliment to our folks back home."
Listen to Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays report on this year's convention with commentary from Roger Johnson, Terry Detrick and AFR Policy Delegate Dustin Tacket, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Convention attendees were treated to keynote remarks from Jason Kander, president of Let America Vote, and Art Cullen, Pulitzer-prize winning editor of The Storm Lake Times. NFU President Roger Johnson delivered his annual State of the Farmers Union, focusing on the upcoming Farm Bill, state of the farm economy, and organizational priorities moving forward. Johnson also joined a panel on the opioid crisis with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and U.S. Department of Agriculture Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett.
“Our programming provides members with the opportunity to learn more about the issues facing their operations and communities, and it sets the stage for how the national organization should address those issues back in Washington,” said Johnson. “With deliberations beginning on the upcoming farm bill, this year’s speakers and focus provided valuable insight, important context, and diverse viewpoints that will shape the debate.”
Detrick echoed the comments of NFU's president, remarking that while the task of reviewing and ratifying hundreds of pages of policy is not exactly a fun chore, it is certainly a necessary one.
"There's been a lot of things covered that are near and dear to us in Oklahoma and I feel pretty good about how policy has been developed for our producers we're representing," Detrick said. "I've been very proud of our delegation that's come. I feel very good about the accomplishments we've made."
In order to provide the national organization a set of priorities for the coming year, 194 delegates from 33 states approved nine special orders of business:
- Family Farming and Cooperatives
- Family Farming and Crop Insurance Enhancement
- Family Farming and Dairy
- Family Farming and E30
- Family Farming and Farm Bills
- Family Farming and Immigration
- Family Farming and Leading the Way on Climate Change
- Family Farming and Livestock Production
- Family Farming and Trade Policy
Full text of the adopted policy manual will be available soon at www.nfu.org.
Source - National Farmers Union
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