Access to Efficiency: Managing a Farm Crew

May 15, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Michelle McKenzie, Co-Manager of Bellair Farm Farming for a season is hard work. Leading a crew all the way through a season and knowing you will do it all again next year is even harder work! Keeping your crew’s trust and respect is the best way to get through it all successfully. I’ve been co-managing … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Weed Control & Tillage

May 14, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern Climate change been the cause, both directly and indirectly, of various challenges for agricultural producers. This list includes extreme droughts and floods, irregular growing seasons, animal and crop disease transmission, and pest migration. Another seemingly perpetual issue exacerbated by climate change is weed growth. Weeds are invasive plant species genetically … Read More

Access to Efficiency: EQIP & the Farm Bill

May 8, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Nate Brownlee, Co-Owner and Operator of Nightfall Farm Here at Nightfall Farm, Liz and I are committed to farm in ways that conserve our natural resources, having rooted our business in the model of the triple bottom line—environmental, social, and financial. When I think back to the first season of our farm, I recall … Read More

Access to Markets: Indiana Cooperative Development Center

May 2, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Hannah Ruth Tabler, NFU Intern For beginning farmers, getting a start in the agriculture industry can be difficult. Without a supportive network and educational resources, aspiring growers can find themselves at a loss for where to start in an industry where connection is key. Thankfully, organizations like the Indiana Cooperative Development Center offer support … Read More

Why Do Farmers Care About Climate Change? Colony Collapse Disorder

April 30, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern Bees contribute to the economy and health of the environment. In addition to their notoriety for honey production, bees also provide the versatile substance known as beeswax, and they are imperative to 30 percent of the world’s crop production, pollinating many fruit, vegetable, and flower species, as well as 90 percent … Read More

Driving Private Investment to Spur Rural Prosperity

April 26, 2018Blog

By Matthew McKenna, Executive in Residence, Rural Opportunity Initiative, a program at Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative, part of the McDonough School of Business  The United States has experienced an historic geographic imbalance in its recovery from the Great Recession. Rural America significantly lags the economic advances enjoyed by their more prosperous urban neighbors. … Read More

Access to Capital: FSA Loan Guidebook

April 24, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Hannah Ruth Tabler, NFU Intern Many beginning farmers, after earning enough experience to feel confident starting their own operation, cannot afford the high upfront costs associated with such an endeavor. At the same time, new producers often lack extensive credit history or adequate collateral for traditional loan providers. This makes it difficult to start … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Prescribed Burns

April 23, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern Fire is often thought of as a destructive and uncontrollable natural disturbance, causing catastrophic damage to agricultural operations of all types. But did you know that fire can actually be used as a tool to protect and increase productivity on your land? Prescribed burning is an advanced land management technique … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Beginning Farmers and the House Farm Bill Proposal

April 17, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator Although farmers and ranchers with all levels of experience rely on farm bill programs for technical and financial assistance, they are of particular importance to beginning farmers. Beginning farmers, by definition, do not have access to many of the same resources more established producers do. Most obviously, newcomers do … Read More

What Do Farmers Need To Know About Climate Change? House Farm Bill Proposal

April 16, 2018Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy On the Climate Column, we have highlighted a number of climate-smart production and conservation practices for which farmers may receive technical and financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Congress authorizes NRCS to disperse this assistance to farmers through the … Read More

Access to Markets: Ohio Employee Ownership Center

April 10, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Hannah Ruth Tabler, NFU Intern For beginning farmers, getting a foothold in the agriculture industry can be difficult. One of the foremost challenges facing beginning farmers today is a lack of access to appropriate markets. Many farmers, young and old, have turned to the cooperative business model to increase their profit and reap the … Read More

What Do Farmers Need To Know About Climate Change? Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

April 9, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern Communities across America depend on farmers and ranchers for a variety of provisions, and those producers’ livelihoods rely on being able to supply them. As uncontrollable environmental setbacks continue to occur with greater severity and frequency, farmers and ranchers should consider taking precautions to protect their operations from drastic losses. … Read More

What Should Farmers Know About Climate Change? Tree Assistance Program

April 3, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern The nursery tree and greenhouse industry is rapidly growing and contributing to the agricultural economy. However, climate change does not discriminate – irregular and extreme weather events interfere with anticipated growing seasons and production yields for essentially all agricultural sectors. When such events occur, farmers and ranchers largely rely on government-run … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Learning As You Go

March 27, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Nate Brownlee, Co-Owner and Operator of Nightfall Farm When you start a farm, there’s no definite starting point. Well before you ever have plants in the ground or animals to graze, you’re already deep into planning and dreaming. By the time we moved home from New England, we already knew (roughly) what we wanted … Read More

What Should Farmers Know About Climate Change? ELAP

March 26, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern In 2017, flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters accounted for approximately $5 billion worth of economic losses in the US agriculture sector. The toll is expected to increase as climate change intensifies the strength and duration of these weather events. As a direct result, the amount of physical damage … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Infantry on the Farm

March 20, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Sherri Dugger, Indiana Farmers Union Media and Outreach Director, Co-owner and Operator of Dugger Family Farm If you asked me whether you should become a farmer, on my worst days, I might tell you “no.” Or, first, I might ask several questions: Do you know what products you will sell? Do you have access … Read More

What Should Farmers Know About Climate Change? Livestock Indemnity Program

March 19, 2018Blog, Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern Abnormal weather patterns have increasingly made livestock producers vulnerable to reduced outputs. Previously on the Climate Column, we’ve discussed tools developed by the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) that assist farmers with preparations for droughts and higher temperatures, but there are also programs that provide financial compensation and assistance for extreme … Read More

Access to Markets: Commodity Markets History and Fundamentals

March 13, 2018Beginning Farmers

Transcribed by Tom Giessel, NFU Historian, and Sheryl Giessel; Commentary by Tom Giessel, Sherly Giessel and Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy National Farmers Union’s mission is to advocate for the economic and social well-being and quality of life of family farmers, ranchers, fishermen and consumers and their communities. Very frequently in contemporary times, … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Livestock Forage Program

March 12, 2018Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy A 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bulletin notes that ongoing monitoring of climate data has led experts to anticipate “an increase in areas experiencing droughts and the occurrence of more intense precipitation events.” It’s self-evident to farmers and ranchers that greater incidence of these … Read More

Three Individuals Awarded Farmers Union’s Highest Honor

March 6, 2018Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2018 Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106 ajerome@nfudc.org KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The strength, diversity and success of modern family farm agriculture is the result of hardworking men and women across the industry, and three individuals have gone above and beyond to ensure that success and the well-being of family farmers, ranchers and … Read More

Standing Tall Together Against Opioid Misuse

February 27, 2018Blog

By Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, USDA No one comes together during a crisis like the American farmer. From economic downturns to natural disasters, farmers and ranchers have faced them all and come out standing tall. We need that spirit of cooperation and perseverance now to face the deadly crisis of … Read More

Saving the Farm: The Need for Farm Advocates

February 22, 2018Blog

By Joe Schroeder, Farm Advocate at Farm Aid Since 1985, Farm Aid has responded to farm crises on the individual, community, and national level. Farm Aid has long supported and held up farmers who face crises and the farm advocates who help them through get through the hard times. As Farm Aid’s farm advocate, my job … Read More

Access to Efficiency: 5 Reasons to Join Farmers Union

February 20, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Sherri Dugger, Indiana Farmers Union’s Media and Outreach Director, Co-Owner and Operator of Dugger Family Farm I was an easy sell. When I first met Rob Davies, the marketing manager for Indiana Farmers Union, in late 2016 at a local coffee shop in Danville, Indiana, it took him about 15 minutes to sell me on … Read More