|A. National Food and Fiber Policy|
The owner-operated family farm is the keystone of a free, progressive, democratic national society, as well as a strong America. The “family farm” or a “family-sized farm” is an economically adequate agriculture production unit that should produce, after a fair net return on investment, a family income comparable to the average net income of families in other segments of the society. That family farm is a unit utilizing land and other capital investments operated by one farmer together with his or her family who provide the stewardship and management, take the economic risk and provide the work, supervision and care of the unit. A vertically integrated and/or multinational grain and food conglomerate is not a family farm.
The future control and ownership of agriculture is a fundamental issue facing our nation and the world. National farm policy must provide direction with an emphasis on profitable farm commodity prices to ensure that control and responsibility of agriculture is vested within the family farm. The decline in the number of family-sized commercial farms must be reversed. Programs that encourage sustainable agriculture through diversified production, improved marketing strategies, and enhanced value-added opportunities can be keys to reversing this trend. Another important aspect of reversing the decline in these farms is to encourage new farmers to enter the agriculture industry. Farmers and consumers need stability and fairness in a farm program. Farmers, rural communities and consumers are at the mercy of a marketplace that is increasingly dominated by vertically integrated, multinational grain and food conglomerates.
We oppose any plan that does not protect net farm income for family farmers.
We commit ourselves to working toward innovative approaches that move beyond the parameters of past farm programs and seek to bridge philosophical differences within the agriculture community and our nation’s political structures.
At the core of our willingness to embrace new agricultural policy directions is the fundamental need to direct the benefits of federal agricultural policies to the production levels of family farm and ranch operations.
Choice and diversity of agricultural practices have always been essential to the success and prosperity of agriculture in the United States. As advances continue to occur in all areas, including conventional, organic, biotechnology and other farm practices, NFU calls on all people affected by agriculture to be mindful of their neighbors and show mutual respect toward their farming practices and production choices. Six major goals to improve agricultural legislation for family farmers are:
1) Profitability: to enhance and protect net family farm income and provide a safety net;
2) Accountability: to reduce government costs and prevent activities that are counter-productive to the intent of the programs;
3) Directed benefits: to direct benefits toward family farming operations;
4) Simplicity: to require less bureaucracy and red tape;
5) Conservation: to maintain and enhance our natural resources; and
6) Diversity: to maintain opportunities for family farmers, regardless of crop and management choice.
2014 NFU Convention
"Spicing Up Family Agriculture"
March 8-11, 2014
Santa Fe, N.M.
Click here for details