October 19, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (October 19, 2016) – Representatives of National Farmers Union (NFU) appealed to international policymakers this week, requesting that the perspective of family farmers and ranchers be better represented in the global food security and nutrition arena. NFU Vice President of International Relations Dave Velde and North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne attended the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) 40th Anniversary Plenary Session on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organization (WFO).

“Family farmers and ranchers are engaged on many of the same issues that CFS tackles as a committee, which ultimately impacts the work carried out by international bodies like the World Trade Organization. It is important that producers are involved in international discussions at the formative stages to help advise the policies that eventually shape the business and livelihoods of farmers around the world,” said Watne, who presented before members of the committee in Rome, Italy.

Established as an inclusive international and intergovernmental platform to coordinate on matters of food security, CFS promotes a multi-stakeholder approach to international policymaking on issues related to food, nutrition, sustainability and more. Yet, farmers and ranchers have not historically been invited to the table.

“We were appreciative to present to the Committee today. This was another important step to ensure farmers and ranchers have a voice at the table,” Velde said. “We’re optimistic about the progress we’ve made thus far with international leaders and officials, and we’ll continue to work to secure the role of the family farming industry in the relevant discussions moving forward.”

Through the WFO, NFU has helped elevate the position of the world’s farmers in high-level international policy discussions. Last month, Velde was the sole farm organization representative on a panel before the General Assembly of the United Nations to discuss antimicrobial resistance.

“NFU has a proud history of advocating for the issues important to family farmers and ranchers, their rural communities, and the consumers they feed. I thank Dave and Mark for representing the Farmers Union organization and working to elevate the position of family agriculture on the international stage in a meaningful way,” NFU President Roger Johnson added.

More information about CFS is available at

More information on the World Farmers’ Organization is available at

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.


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