National Farmers Union (NFU) kicked off its 113th Anniversary Convention yesterday in Wichita, Kansas. More than 470 members from across the country are gathered for the annual event, which goes on through March 17.
“NFU is one of the few organizations in Washington, D.C., that is truly driven by its members, who meet with each other as well as elected officials and government agencies, and then convene once a year to discuss the organization’s overall policies and vision for policies important to family farmers and ranchers at our annual convention,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
Johnson noted that this year’s convention theme is “Driving the Future of Agriculture,” and both Farmers Union members and farmers and ranchers in general need to be fully engaged in that process. “There are a lot of important policies that are essential to the economic health of family farmers, ranchers and rural America, and we need to be ready to take an active role in the states and in Washington to continue to shore up support for them in Congress,” said Johnson.
The annual convention will run through Tuesday afternoon. Attendees of this year’s convention will be treated to remarks by Dr. Temple Grandin this evening at the opening banquet, a keynote address on Monday morning at 9 a.m., by United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, followed shortly thereafter by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. Other events include tours of local farms and area attractions and targeted breakout sessions focusing on issues ranging from personal health to farm safety to climate change.
“NFU’s 113 years have been a tale of solving problems and building support for policies to help family farmers and rural America. NFU was founded in Point, Texas, at a time when America’s farmers were literally on their own. There were no government safety nets, no available marketing tools, no control over prices or profit margins and no ability to stand up to the large conglomerates which were already starting to dominate American business,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
Johnson reminded attendees of the symbolism behind the Farmers Union triangle. “For me, it’s been a symbol that has been with me throughout my lifetime: education, cooperation and legislation. Taken together, these three sides have built an organization that has truly driven the future of agriculture,” he noted.
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.