This resource will introduce you to the concepts and information you will need as a state president, a member of the National Farmers Union (NFU) board, or a member of a Farmers Union division board or staff. The purpose of this resource is to provide you with basic information and emphasize the areas of greatest importance. Ultimately, the success you achieve in your job depends on you. You are the one whose skills and energy will help direct and enhance your Farmers Union.
This resource does not contain everything you need to know. Much of what you will learn comes from the experiences you will have as you serve your members and the support you will receive from fellow staff or board members.
For additional information, please download and review the Farmers Union President and State & Local Leadership Manual (PDF).
NFU was founded by ten family farmers in 1902 as the Farmers Educational Cooperative Union of America in Point, Texas. The official name is “Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of America.” Farmers Union is a grassroots, democratically-controlled, general farm organization representing about 200,000 farm and ranch families in the United States. Individuals and families can join at the national level and become at-large members if there is no state or regional organization in their area. You can learn more about our mission and history here: https://nfu.org/about/
Farmers Union is organized as a federation of organizations. Under our federated structure, once state and regional organizations adhere to a minimum set of requirements provided by our charter and bylaws, each state/regional organization functions autonomously. Farmers Union is made of 24 state organizations and 3 regional organizations for a total representation in 33 states. You can find the full list of organizations here: https://nfu.org/join/
National Farmers Union Board
The National Farmers Union board is comprised of the NFU President, NFU Vice President, and the elected State/regional Farmers Union presidents. As board members, they are responsible for long-range planning for the national organization, implementing national policies and maintaining the financial health of National Farmers Union. The NFU Board is authorized to organize Farmers Union divisions in new geographies and maintain the integrity of the Farmers Union brand. The board is required to meet no less than 4 times per calendar year according to the NFU bylaws. Officer positions include President, First Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. You can learn more about who serves on our Board of Directors here: https://nfu.org/about/leadership/
The Farmers Union Entity Structure and Network
In order to accomplish the diverse needs of the organization, and support America’s family farmers as comprehensively as possible, National Farmers Union has organized several other legal entities. The entities described below are distinct in their legal status but nonetheless part of the Farmers Union family. National Farmers Union Foundation, National Farmers Union Service Association and NFU PAC each are governed by their own boards. However, the majority of each of these boards is comprised of individuals who also sit on the National Farmers Union board in order to ensure that their mission and operations remain consistent with the overarching needs and philosophy of National Farmers Union.
NFU DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
National staff are organized into multiple departments, including Administration & Operations, Communications, Education, Government Relations, and Membership. Each department plays a critical role in furthering NFU’s mission and supporting members. You can learn more about staff and find their contact information here: https://nfu.org/staff/