The National Farmers Union 111th Anniversary Convention concluded Tuesday in Springfield, Mass., with the delegates considering and adopting the organization's policy for the next year.
"Farmers Union is truly a grassroots organization, and our policy adoption process is an example of the value of Americans' right to free speech," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "The policy adopted by the delegates today is what will guide the advocacy work of our organization for the next year."
Several special orders of business were adopted by the body, placing an emphasis on passing a five-year farm bill this year. Other special orders dealt with ongoing challenges to dairy farmers, the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, continuation of reliable postal service, Foot and Mouth Disease in Argentina, and appropriate regulation of small financial institutions.
"The voices of family farmers, ranchers and fishermen and women have been heard," said Johnson. "NFU will continue to work on behalf of the providers of our nation's feed, fuel, food and fiber. As we head back to Washington, D.C., we have a very clear message to relay to Congress: a five-year farm bill must be completed as soon as possible to provide certainty and protection against multi-year price collapse."
Delegates adopted policy favoring comprehensive reform of immigration laws in relation to agricultural workers. Existing NFU policy that supports conservation compliance requirements for federal crop insurance premium subsidy eligibility was reaffirmed. The body renewed its support for affordable healthcare, with an emphasis on disease prevention and access to nutritionally sound foods. Policy was put in place to address the challenges that small boat fishermen and women face.