LINCOLN, NE (August 10, 2016) – Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) President John Hansen announced today that ten NeFU members will participate in the fall National Farmers Union Fly-In scheduled for September 11-14. Hansen said this year is particularly important because this is the third year in a row of below cost of production ag commodity prices.
Hansen said “Production agriculture is facing a major financial crisis as grain prices continue to sink, grain inventories build, exports are flat, and ag production costs stay at or near historic all time high levels. We are in year three of a grain price collapse that looks to either continue or get worse. The meat sector is not much better. We think the best way for our elected officials to understand the size and scope of the financial hardship farmers and ranchers are facing is to talk directly with the farmers and ranchers themselves. That is why this Fly-In will be an important one for families that farm and ranch. We are extremely pleased that we have 10 Nebraskans willing to share their stories with our elected officials.”
The top four issues for the NFU Fly-In will include:
- The financial crisis in agriculture, short term financial assistance ideas and the need for a much better Farm Bill.
- The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and why especially now with sinking commodity prices why domestic consumption and utilization is so critical.
- The Trans Pacific Partnership and other trade issues that continue to over promise and under deliver while continuing to drive up the U.S. balance of trade deficit.
- The massive consolidation in the ag supply sector and ag processing sector, the continued vertical integration of food production, growing market consolidation, shrinking competition, and a completely inadequate response by Congress and our federal anti-trust agencies.
Hansen said “It is up to those of us who care about family farm and ranch agriculture to sound the alarm bells because the financial situation facing agriculture has not received proper attention from the press or elected officials. The current price levels of ag commodity prices are far below the costs of production. Something needs to be done. Congress needs to respond. All farmers are hurting financially, especially young and beginning farmers.
Hansen said each of Nebraska Farmers Union’s seven districts that cover the state of Nebraska are sending at least one representative to this Fly-In. “It is our responsibility to help family farmers and ranchers tell their stories, especially in this time of financial crisis.
Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 4,000 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities. Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives.