FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Brittany Jablonsky, 701-690-0000
bjablonsky@nfudc.org

SANTA FE, N.M. (March 10, 2014) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed attendees of the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) 112th anniversary convention this morning, highlighting the important contributions family farmers and ranchers make to our country’s food, energy, economic, environmental and national security. His keynote remarks on implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill set the tone for the afternoon’s upcoming policy discussion.

“For more than two years the secretary has been almost singularly focused on getting a new, comprehensive, five-year farm bill through a dysfunctional Congress to provide certainty for family farmers, ranchers and the food insecure. It is refreshing to hear him instead be able to celebrate our hard-fought farm bill victories in a forward-looking address,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to put forward all resources possible to quickly roll out the commodity programs even though we are in the midst of the 2014 crop year.”

During his remarks, the Secretary announced new and expanded efforts to connect small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations.

“The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape,” said Vilsack. “USDA is taking a hard look at our existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes. We’ve adjusted policies, strengthened programs and intensified outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers. These producers are critical to our country’s agricultural and economic future.”

“The administration’s efforts to reinvigorate family farmers in the shrinking middle will provide valuable resources to the family farmers and ranchers who most need education, credit and technical assistance and build the future of the rural economy,” said Johnson.

For more information about the NFU convention, visit www.nfu.org/convention, or follow @nfudc and #NFU2014 on Twitter.

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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