National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors convened this week in Healdsburg, Calif., for their annual June board meeting. Two resolutions were passed by the board, prioritizing critical policy issues identified by the organization, the worsening farm economy and consolidation in the crop inputs and agriculture chemicals industries.
“As a farmer-led organization, we proudly advocate for the issues important to our nearly 200,000 family farm and ranch members. The farm economy and consolidation in agriculture are two timely industry topics, and these board-passed resolutions will define precise calls to action for our organization,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
NFU has been a vocal advocate in support of a strong safety net to aid farmers as they continue to face low commodity prices and high input costs. The ratified resolution calls for “corrective action and evaluation of price support levels” so that farm programs can serve to minimize the farm income drop.
“Family farmers and ranchers should call on their elected officials at the local, state and national levels to educate them about the economic problems facing our nation’s family farmers and ranchers,” explained Johnson, who testified on the state of the farm economy before a panel of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management earlier this year.
Additionally, the board passed a resolution in support of more robust enforcement of antitrust laws as the agriculture inputs sector faces growing consolidation. NFU has strongly opposed further consolidation in agriculture due to the damaging effects of reduced competition on the economic viability of farmers and ranchers.
“Family farmers, ranchers and rural communities are the ones that lose when industry consolidation cripples competition and reduces innovation. We encourage the Justice Department to critically review the pending mergers and ask that Congress act to prevent further consolidation should the regulatory agencies fail to protect competition in rural America,” Johnson concluded.
The resolution on the farm economy can be read here.
The resolution on increased consolidation in the agriculture inputs sector can be read here.
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.