FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2017
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON – The national farm economy is deteriorating, forcing many family farmers and ranchers to make tough financial decisions that will impact their families, communities, and the entire country.
In order to provide farmers with the resources and support needed to endure these tough economic conditions, National Farmers Union (NFU) and Farmers Union state divisions have compiled resources, organized listening sessions, and initiated a national campaign to raise awareness for the current farm crisis.
“We’re in the midst of a farm crisis,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Net farm income has been cut in half over the past four years, and other indicators point to intense, ongoing stress within our rural communities. Importantly, there is no foreseeable end to these tough conditions. Farmers, ranchers, and their communities are bracing for very hard times, and Farmers Union is going to be there to help them through it.”
Johnson echoed this sentiment in a letter to NFU members, announcing the start of a campaign to raise awareness for the farm crisis and provide support to family farmers and ranchers. NFU launched a new online resource center today, the Farm Crisis Center, to help farmers find the information and services they need to get through financial and personal emergencies.
“When times get tough and farmers are under significant stress, services provided by farm groups, hotlines, and mediation programs can go a long way in making sure families keep their farms and their families. The Farm Crisis Center is a go-to resource for farmers looking for help,” noted Johnson.
Part of confronting the current farm crisis is elevating the issue to national prominence. Farmers Union state divisions are organizing listening sessions to bring together farmers to discuss the impacts of the depressed farm economy. NFU will bring these stories and information to the halls of Congress, the administration, and across multimedia platforms to raise awareness for the crisis currently confronting farming and rural communities.
“The farm crisis needs to be front and center of every major farm and rural discussion occurring amongst policymakers and the national media,” said Johnson. “We encourage all farmers to attend our listening sessions and share their stories with us on the Farm Crisis Center so that we can be your voice in Washington. The plight of rural and farming communities must be addressed for the betterment of the entire country.”
More information on the farm crisis, farmer resources, and Farmers Union listening sessions can be found at https://farmcrisis.nfu.org/.
To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quote, visit our website at nfu.org/audio.
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.
Look for us online at NFU.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This press release, the Roger Johnson letter, and the Farm Crisis resources page include nothing to address the price (price policy) issue, which is the whole reason for the farm crisis in the first place. (or in the climate forum or in the beginning farmer forum) I also don’t see any explanation of why there’s a crisis (i.e. the failure of free-market/free-trade/safety-net ideology). That is, there is no mention of MDIS, NFU’s Market Driven Inventory System. I’ve seen this repeatedly from Roger Johnson in recent years. MDIS was also mostly taken down from the web site a while back, even as prices were falling. When/where have these (restored) links been publicized? The world needs to know about MDIS, yet it seems as if NFU doesn’t know about MDIS. Can you tell me, was MDIS mentioned in any of the testimony (5 sessions?) from NFU? ?Where? MDIS offers huge cost savings even as it helps farmers better, and greatly reduces the “farm subsidies” (cheap prices) from crop farmers to CAFOs, (i.e. mentioning MDIS and fair prices to keep value added livestock on farm). I’m in Iowa Farmers Union.