AFR President Scott Blubaugh Reports on Business Discussed at National Farmers Union ConventionTue, 05 Mar 2019 16:17:01 CST
National Farmers Union (NFU) officially concluded its 117th Anniversary Convention today in Bellevue, Washington, celebrating American farm families and set the organization’s policy for the coming year. More than 460 Farmers Union members from across the country are gathered for the annual event.
“NFU is a grassroots, family farmer-led organization, and this structure is best embodied at our annual convention. The convention is an opportunity to celebrate what makes Farmers Union truly unique - and that is family farmers of all types, sizes, and backgrounds banding together to make sure they all can enjoy the American dream,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
Over the past three days, attendees engaged with industry experts, policymakers, thought leaders and fellow farmers on topics of importance to modern family farm agriculture. Top of mind for most attendees and speakers was the state of the farm economy, international trade disruptions, extreme consolidation in the agricultural sector, climate change and sustainability, and the success of the next generation of family farmers.
“This year’s policy deliberations will be especially important, as family farmers and ranchers face a difficult farm economy, an increasingly volatile climate, and extreme consolidation in agricultural marketplaces, among the normal unpredictability that they deal with on a day-to-day basis,” Johnson added. “The policies they adopt will carry significant weight in the nation’s capital, as they represent the collective will of America’s farm and ranch families.”
Addressing the convention this year was Andrew Winston, a globally recognized expert on helping businesses thrive and create a more sustainable world, and Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. NFU President Roger Johnson delivered his annual State of the Farmers Union speech as well.
Newly-elected American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union President Scot Blubaugh attended the convention this year, reporting back that the event was a great experience and very productive. According to him, two topics covered during the event most concerning to farmers and ranchers here in Oklahoma and across the country included the implementation of the Farm Bill and ongoing matters of trade.
“We recently passed the Farm Bill but there is some holes in the safety net that we’re really going to have to go back and get fixed,” he said, underscoring the necessity of this by noting the average American farm is losing approximately $1,548 each year. “All farms of all sizes are losing money and have been for a while now. We’re kind of to the point of needing relief some how some way.
“The second this we have is the trade issue. The Trump Administration did pass the Market Facilitation Program this past fall. That helped producers quite a bit for the short term. But, if the tariffs can’t get removed soon, we’re going to go to Congress. It’s time for Congress to step up and help us financially to keep farmers going until this is resolved.”
Listen to Blubaugh speak more about the 2019 NFU convention and the issues discussed there this week by clicking the LISTEN BAR below. For more information on the convention, click here.
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