Nearly 400 National Farmers Union’s family farmer and rancher members are in Washington, D.C., to meet face-to-face with administration officials and members of Congress.
“In early September, most farmers are busy harvesting, planting winter crops, and attending to livestock,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The fact that nearly 400 are here this week to advocate better food and agricultural policy speaks volumes to how exceptionally challenging things are right now in farm country.”
Advocates from across the country will campaign for policies that strengthen the farm safety net, reduce chronic overproduction, help farmers and ranchers implement climate smart practices, restore competition to the agricultural economy, resolve ongoing trade disputes, and expand the market for homegrown biofuels.
“Given the current circumstances, it is more important than ever that legislators hear directly from family farmers and ranchers about the issues they’re dealing with,” said Johnson. “NFU members want Congress to understand the financial and environmental realities of modern agriculture, and they want to provide recommendations for what meaningful solutions look like. We hope that long after Fly-In attendees return to their farms, their elected representatives will use these conversations to write policies that bolster rural America and family farm agriculture.”
The three-day event began Sept. 9 with a briefing at USDA. NFU members heard from Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Gregory Ibach, Under Secretary for Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs Ted McKinney, as well as top officials from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Risk Management Agency and Farm Service Agency.
Other parts of the event include visits with industry experts and agricultural policy specialists and small-group meetings with all 535 congressional offices. NFU members will also present Golden Triangle Awards, the group’s highest legislative honor.
The Golden Triangle, first presented in 1988, symbolizes the core principles of the Farmers Union organization: education, cooperation and legislation. This year’s 26 Golden Triangle honorees were selected for their leadership and dedication to improving the livelihoods of family farmers and ranchers.