Access to Markets: The Greenway Farm Family & Farm Advocacy

May 26, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Lura Roti, South Dakota Farmers Union A $200 scholarship from the Davison County Pork Producers in 1984 launched Brad Greenway on an agricultural advocacy journey which has put him in front of thousands of consumers coast-to-coast and around the world to share his story. “That scholarship got me involved,” explains the third-generation pork producer. Brad’s engagement … Read More

Access to Markets: Value Added Producer Grants

May 25, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Matt Perdue, NFU Government Relations Representative When my mother was growing up on her family’s farm near Bergen, North Dakota, they produced most of the food they ate. Their eggs, butter, milk, cream, fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, and chicken were all raised and processed on the farm. The good Germans that they are, my … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Rural Development

May 23, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy One of the principles driving National Farmers Union is our dedication to the communities in which food producers live and work. The preamble to our policy states, “The goal of NFU is to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers, … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Methane Digesters

May 22, 2017Climate Column

By Rori Cowan, Senior Program Associate at the American Carbon Registry Agricultural carbon offsets have been a hot topic in both the environmental and agricultural worlds in the last decade in the fight to mitigate climate change. While there have been substantial hurdles to implementation, such as prohibitive monitoring requirements, there have also been significant … Read More

Access to Efficiency: The Vedvei Farm Family & Cattle Breeding

May 19, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Lura Roti, South Dakota Farmers Union “It was nerve-racking to watch, but seeing that smile was priceless,” says Corrie, as she reminisces about watching her daughter show for the first time. A third-generation 4-H alumnus, Corrie says it’s exciting to see her daughter continue the family legacy of 4-H involvement and showing registered Charolais … Read More

The Future of Farming is Now

May 19, 2017Blog

By Natalie McGill and Stewart Lundy, Owners & Operators of Perennial Roots Farm Farmers tend to be rugged individualists. They might be a little rough around the edges, but that tough skin is just part of how they are able to do the hard work of farming. The constant ups and downs in farming require real … Read More

Perdue Testifies on Depressed Rural Economy

May 17, 2017Blog

By Skylar Schneider, NFU Executive Assistant Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on rural communities and agriculture, during which U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue provided an update on the state of the farm economy. In written testimony, he addressed the fact that, after a 50 percent decrease over the past four years, net farm … Read More

Access to Markets: Why Media Matters in Agriculture

May 16, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tommy Enright, Wisconsin Farmers Union Communications Associate Some farms garner a great deal of media attention while similar farms fly below the radar. Why is this? To be sure, there are farmers doing enough awesome things in their communities that people take notice. But more likely, they are good at marketing themselves. In my experience, … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Diversified Crop Rotation

May 15, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Last week, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a study, “Rotating Crops, Turning Profits: How Diversified Farming Systems Can Help Farmers While Protecting Soil and Preventing Pollution.” It focuses on the environmental benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased soil organic matter, of … Read More

Access to Efficiency: The Affordable Care Act

May 11, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Jimmy Dula, NFU Intern Healthcare coverage is a lingering concern for most beginning farmers. Farm work is by no means safe work. Physical demands, heavy machinery, sharp tools, and other unexpected dangers are inevitable risks on operations of all sizes. Those without health care coverage are nagged by the thought of how much a mistake could cost, both … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Health Care

May 9, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator Access to affordable and effective health care is a fundamental concern for many Americans. However, farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face several unique obstacles to acquiring and paying for coverage. Rural communities experience higher rates of poverty, unemployment, chronic and mental health issues, and risky behaviors than their urban … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Rotational Grazing

May 8, 2017Climate Column

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator Last month on the Climate Column, we introduced the idea of prescribed grazing, a conservation practice in which the frequency and intensity of grazing, as well as the density and placement of livestock, are regulated with a specific goal in mind. Prescribed grazing can be carried out in a … Read More

Access to Land: Erin’s Acres Farm

May 4, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Erin Cuseo, Owner & Operator of Erin’s Acres Farm As a first generation vegetable farmer in Colorado, one of the main challenges I face is accessing land. With increasingly high prices and a lack of available agricultural land, finding a long-term solution may take a farmer like myself many years. Not every property will suit … Read More

Access to Land: Leasing Farmland

May 2, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Jimmy Dula, NFU Intern For a beginning farmer, who may not have the means to purchase their own land, leasing is often the most viable route to starting an operation. Typically, a lease doesn’t require a hefty downpayment or burdensome loan, and the financial risk is shared between the landowner and the tenant. However, farm … Read More

What Do Farmers Need To Know About Climate Change? Conservation Planning

May 1, 2017Climate Column

Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Over the past several months, the Climate Column has featured many conservation practices, like installing filter strips or planting cover crops, that help mitigate climate change and build an operation’s climate resilience. For many producers, it may not be immediately clear which practices would be most beneficial for their operations. … Read More

Access to Land: The Wonneberg Ranch Family & Succession Planning

April 28, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Lura Roti, South Dakota Farmers Union As its mother protectively stands guard, her newborn calf, supported precariously by its wobbly legs, looks curiously at its surroundings and then begins nursing. For four generations, this heart-warming scene has signaled spring on the Wonnenberg Ranch near Dallas, Texas. And even though it’s been a part of … Read More

Access to Markets: Colorado Herb Cooperative

April 28, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Stephanie Syson, Lead Grower & Owner of Biodynamic Botanicals The United States is a large consumer of medicinal herbs, mainly in the form of value-added products such as dietary supplements, teas, personal care products, cosmetics, and other nutraceuticals. However, many of the herbs used to make these products are imported from foreign markets. In … Read More

Access to Markets: Cooperatives

April 25, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Jimmy Dula, NFU Intern Although you might not know it, cooperatives are woven throughout every industry in the United States, including housing, banking, agriculture, food retail, and healthcare, providing people with basic goods and services through collectively owned and democratically organized businesses and organizations. Opportunities for cooperatives exist when a group of people or organizations share a … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Soil Health Champions Network

April 24, 2017Climate Column

By Beth Mason, NACD North Central Region Representative  In 2014, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) began a three-year project to increase the adoption of soil health practices across the United States. The project consists of two initiatives – one focused on quantifying the monetary benefits of using soil health practices, and the other on … Read More

Why We’re Marching for Science

April 21, 2017Blog

By NFU President Roger Johnson Tomorrow, Farmers Union members from across the country will join forces with thousands of scientists, concerned citizens, and policymakers to stand up for robustly funded and publicly communicated science at the March for Science. Farmers rely on sound science and public research to maintain the stability of the food system. This includes … Read More

Access to Capital: Two Roots Farm & Slow Money

April 20, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Harper Kaufman, Co-Owner and Operator of Two Roots Farm Christian and I fell in love with farming not too long after we fell in love with each other. Before graduating from the University of Montana, we had our first farming experience at PEAS Farm, the university farm near campus. While there, we began to grasp the … Read More