FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2020
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600
SAVANNAH – National Farmers Union (NFU) officially convened its 118th Anniversary Convention this afternoon in Savannah, Georgia, to celebrate American farm families and to set the organization’s policy positions and priorities for the coming year. More than 500 Farmers Union members from across the country are gathered for the annual event, which runs through March 3.
“At its core, Farmers Union is a grassroots, family farmer-led organization, a fact that is best illustrated at our annual convention,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Every year, this event brings together family farmers of all types, sizes, and backgrounds around the shared goal of economic prosperity and social justice.”
Over the next three days, Farmers Union members will engage with industry experts, policymakers, thought leaders, and fellow farmers on the issues that matter most to them, including the farm economy, mental health, corporate consolidation in the agricultural sector, climate change and sustainability, and the success of the next generation of family farmers. Keynote remarks at this year’s convention will be delivered Matt Paul, a nationally recognized expert in public affairs, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. NFU President Roger Johnson will deliver his final State of the Farmers Union speech here tonight at the convention opening banquet.
The convention will also feature a panel on black land loss and voting rights with the Federation of Southern Cooperative’s executive director Cornelius Blanding and director of land retention and advocacy Monica Rainge, as well as Latrice Hill, national director of outreach for the Farm Service Agency. The panel will be moderated by Karis Gutter, who leads government and industry affairs for Corteva Agriscience.
These conversations will set the stage for the organization’s annual line-by-line policy review during the final day and a half of the convention. “Through our grassroots policy adoption process, Farmers Union members determine the direction of the organization and the issues we will bring attention to in Washington, D.C. over the coming year,” Johnson explained. “Because the policies adopted this week truly represent the collective interests and concerns of America’s farm and ranch families, they will carry significant weight and credibility in the nation’s capital.”
In addition to debating and voting on NFU’s policy book, delegates to the convention will elect the organization’s 15thpresident. Three candidates have thrown their hats into the ring – NFU’s senior vice president of public policy and communications Rob Larew, Kansas Farmers Union president Donn Teske, and National Dairy Producers Organization board chair Mike Eby – all of whom will have an opportunity to present their platform during a nomination process this afternoon.
Convention attendees will also be treated to award ceremonies, a screening of the documentary “Fantastic Fungi,” and the choice of several breakout sessions that explore new and burgeoning corners of the industry, such as precision agriculture, the history of grassroots organizing, regenerative farming, farm to table, and hemp production.
More information on convention programming can be found at NFU.org/convention.
Follow along with NFU’s 118th Anniversary Convention using the hashtag #NFU2020, and follow NFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download the NFU Convention app here for more information.
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.