SAN ANTONIO, Texas – USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager addressed more than 500 Farmers Union members from across the country at National Farmers Union’s 109th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

“Under Secretary Tonsager has been a great advocate for family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and rural Americans for many years,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We truly appreciate his work and are honored that he was able to join us at our convention.

Under Secretary Tonsager served two terms as president of the South Dakota Farmers Union. He also served on the board of National Farmers Union Insurance from 1989 to 1993.

“Rural development issues are an important part of what we do,” said Johnson. “It is great for our members to have an opportunity to hear directly from Under Secretary Tonsager, giving them a sense of what to expect in the months and years ahead.”

Under Secretary Tonsager discussed the challenges ahead for renewable fuels.

“It’s not going to be easy,” said Under Secretary Tonsager. “The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) goes away after this year. There are challenges ahead with renewable energy, but it can be done. It’s going to take everybody coming together.”