Supply Management: Cherries, Cows, and Cognitive Dissonance – Oh, My!

August 31, 2020Blog

By Brittany Olson, Wisconsin Farmers Union Member This piece originally ran in the September/October issue of Wisconsin Farmers Union News and is available for distribution. Learn more about the Rural Voices project at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/rural-voices or on the WFU blog. Even though my days as a farm journalist are getting farther and farther behind me in … Read More

Climate Change Poses a Real and Imminent Threat to Agriculture

August 27, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director Climate change is not a future or hypothetical problem – year after year, farmers and ranchers across the country are enduring more frequent and extreme weather events and natural disasters. This year has been no different. In California, dozens of fires have burned through hundreds of thousands of acres, destroying farm … Read More

Small Rural Towns Embrace Urban Farming

August 26, 2020Blog, Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU FSMA Training Coordinator The term “urban farming” evokes images of gleaming greenhouses scattered across New York rooftops, shipping containers full of greens in Charleston, South Carolina, or raised beds in the shadow of the Oakland A’s stadium. But in small rural towns, some farmers are adopting practices that are hallmarks of … Read More

NFU Urges Trump, EPA to Reject Gap Year Waiver Requests

August 21, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 21, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737 [email protected]nfudc.org WASHINGTON – Several months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth determined that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly issued small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the agency revealed that it has 98 pending requests for … Read More

Attacks on USPS Threaten Rural Communities and the Democratic Process

August 20, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been experiencing financial issues for many years, but dwindling mail volume during the pandemic has made matters worse, severely cutting into the agency’s revenue. Unlike most other government agencies, which are funded by taxpayer money, USPS funds itself with revenue from postage and postal service. Though the … Read More

Derecho Flattens Crops Across Midwest

August 13, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director Hurricane-force winds tore through the Midwest this week, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The storm, known as a derecho, passed from South Dakota to Ohio, knocking out power for more than a million people, blowing down trees, damaging buildings and grain bins, and flattening crops. In … Read More

Pandemic Assistance Favors Certain Farmers Over Others

August 13, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director According to new analysis published this week by NBC News, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has disproportionately helped certain kinds of farmers more than others with its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The publication asserts that the agency “favored large, industrialized farms over smaller, diversified ones, provided loopholes … Read More

JBS Plans to Buy, Convert Lamb Processing Facility

August 11, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director Brazilian company JBS, the world’s largest beef and pork processor, plans to buy the second largest lamb processing facility in the United States and use it to process beef instead, drawing concern from farmers, legislators, and anti-trust advocates. The plant, which is based in Colorado, processes about 350,000 lambs … Read More

Making Food Safety Practical and Profitable

August 5, 2020Blog, Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, FSMA Training Coordinator  A mountain of paperwork just to wash your hands. Out of control costs with no end in sight. Common sense concepts lost in a maze of regulations. For a lot of growers, these are the real and perceived barriers that come with keeping our food safe. In the past … Read More

Farmers Market Pivot and Provide Safe, Local Food Systems

August 3, 2020Blog

By Billy Mitchell, NFU FSMA Training Coordinator Just five short months ago, National Farmers Union (NFU) members attending the organization’s annual convention breezed through Forsyth Park Farmers Market in Savannah, Georgia. Today, the scene would be unthinkable: customers hugging farmers, friends standing shoulder to shoulder, shoppers testing produce ripeness with their bare hands, families generously … Read More

Agricultural Innovation Agenda Must Reflect Environmental and Economic Challenges Facing Farmers

July 31, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 31, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737 [email protected] WASHINGTON – As family farmers and ranchers cope with significant economic and environmental uncertainty, innovation will play a critical role in helping them continue to safely, sustainably, and reliably grow our food, fuel, and fiber for generations to come. In comments submitted today, National … Read More

How Has the Pandemic Affected Food Prices?

July 22, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director In the last 12 months, food prices at grocery stores have risen 5.6 percent –  the largest annual increase in nearly a decade. The severity of price increases vary drastically depending on the product; beef prices, for instance are 25 percent higher than they were a year ago, while those for … Read More

USDA Report on Cattle Markets Must Be Accompanied By Reforms to Industry, Farmers Union Says

July 22, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 22, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737 [email protected] WASHINGTON – In a report released today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provided an update on its investigation into recent market disruptions and price volatility in the beef industry. The investigation was prompted by complaints from ranchers, who attributed the … Read More

Farmers, Rural Communities, Hospitals Need More Support to Weather Pandemic

July 16, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJuly 16, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, [email protected] WASHINGTON – The coronavirus pandemic continues to overwhelm rural hospitals, upend agricultural markets, and interrupt daily life as we know it, making it clear that family farmers and rural communities require additional support to withstand these trying times. In a letter sent today to Senate leadership, National … Read More

Regenerative Agriculture Unites Ranchers and Beekeepers

June 30, 2020Climate Blog

By Jeanne Janson, NFU Intern The answer to rapidly declining pollinator populations and the climate crisis may lie in an unexpected place: climate-friendly cow pastures. As climate change, disease, predators, and other factors decimate hives around the country, beekeepers are looking to pastureland managed with regenerative agricultural practices for a more sustainable future for their … Read More

Farming, Biofuels, and Public Interest Groups Challenge EPA on SAFE Rule

June 30, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737 [email protected] WASHINGTON –  A broad coalition of ethanol, agriculture, and public interest groups are challenging the Trump administration’s recent fuel efficiency rulemaking, on that grounds that it downplays the harm from reduced emission standards, ignores the efficiency and health benefits of higher ethanol blends, and … Read More

This Dairy Month, Let’s Give Dairy Farmers Something to Celebrate

June 26, 2020Blog

By Bobbi Wilson, Wisconsin Farmers Union Government Relations Associate Every June for the last 83 years, Americans have celebrated dairy farmers. A tradition that began as a way to encourage consumption of milk during peak production season has since become an annual celebration of the hard work dairy farm families perform every day. In Wisconsin, … Read More

LGBTQ+ Farmers Work to Build Queer-Inclusive Rural Communities

June 24, 2020Blog

By Jeanne Janson, NFU Intern To understand how to build thriving rural communities, all we need to do is consider the ground beneath our feet. Healthy soil is complex mixture of organic and inorganic elements: clay and sand, worms and fungi, plant matter, and minerals. This hodgepodge forms the foundation that sustains all life on … Read More

Carbon Markets Contribute to Financial and Environmental Sustainability of Family Farm Agriculture

June 24, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 24, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600 [email protected] WASHINGTON – As family farmers grapple with the dual crises of a global pandemic and climate change, carbon markets present a critical solution for both, according to National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew. In testimony presented today to the U.S. Senate Committee on … Read More

Farm Groups Launch Free Stress Management Course

June 23, 2020Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 23, 2020 Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600 [email protected] WASHINGTON – Following the December 2019 announcement of a new farm stress management online training course for employees and members of Farm Credit, Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, these organizations have supported the launch of a free online training available to the general public. Developed … Read More

Juneteenth and the Broken Promise of “40 Acres and a Mule”

June 19, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director For many Black Americans, Juneteenth is a day of celebration. Observed on June 19th, the holiday commemorates the day that the last slaves were freed in the United States in 1865 – two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln ordered their independence with the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the … Read More

Identifying Conservation Opportunities: Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool with Will Cannon

June 9, 2020Climate Column

The Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool (RSET) is a free program offered through National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It is available to help Iowa farmers, ranchers and land owners improve their working lands conservation efforts, and consequently improve topsoil and nutrient retention, as well as safeguard Iowa’s waterways. Will Cannon … Read More