FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2020
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600
SAVANNAH – The National Farmers Union (NFU) 118th Anniversary Convention concluded today following the adoption of the organization’s policy book and special orders of business. More than 500 family farmers and ranchers convened in Savannah, Georgia, to set policy positions and priorities that support American farm and ranch families and strengthen rural communities.
Delegates to the convention adopted the NFU Policy Book and six special orders of business that will guide the organization’s government affairs priorities over the course of the next year, especially as they relate to the tough economic circumstances and sustainability issues facing family farmers. Before the policy review began, they elected Rob Larew to succeed Roger Johnson as the organization’s president and reelected Patty Edelburg of Scandinavia, Wisconsin, to serve as NFU Vice President.
“The reason for Farmers Union’s longstanding success – and the reason why I am so enthusiastic about leading this organization – is its grassroots structure,” said newly elected Farmers Union President Larew. “Each year, our members set organizational directives and federal policy priorities in a democratic process, which ensures that the work we do in our national office is really in the best interest of the hard-working family farmers and ranchers feed, fuel, and clothe our nation.”
Convention attendees heard keynote remarks from Matt Paul, a nationally recognized expert in public affairs, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. NFU President Roger Johnson delivered his final State of the Farmers Union address, offering an overview of his 11-year-long tenure and an optimistic outlook for the organization’s future. Additionally, the convention featured a panel on black land loss and voting rights and breakout sessions on precision agriculture, the history of grassroots organizing, regenerative farming, farm to table, and hemp production.
“Between low commodity prices, climate change, and trade uncertainty, there are so many challenges in farm country right now,” said Larew. “But there are so many bright spots too. As consumers get more interested in where their food comes from and how it’s made, new local and diverse agricultural markets are opening up. Conservation agriculture holds significant potential for financial and environmental benefits. Every day, new technologies are making it easier for farmers to improve efficiency and sustainability. And across the country, there’s a resurgence in support for family farm agriculture. So while this convention is a crucial opportunity to address the difficulties facing family farmers and ranchers, it’s also an opportunity to celebrate all the reasons we love agriculture and dedicate our lives to it.”
In order to provide the national organization a set of priorities for the coming year, 199 Farmers Union delegates approved six special orders of business:
– Family Farming and 2020: A Most Challenging Year
– Family Farming and the 2020 Election
– Family Farming and Cooperatives
– Family Farming and Climate Change
– Family Farming and Dairy Policy Reform
– Family Farming and Truth in Labeling and Promotion of Meat Products
Full text of the adopted policy manual will be available soon at www.nfu.org.
Follow along with NFU’s 118th Anniversary Convention using the hashtag #NFU2020, and follow NFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download the NFU Convention app here for more information.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.