National Farmers Union delegates have passed several special orders of business. NFU President Roger Johnson points out that through these special orders, Farmers Union delegates have indicated the priorities of the national organization. Johnson says the issues covered in these orders are critical to U.S. family farmers, ranchers and fishermen and we will work over the coming year with the administration and Congress to be sure our voices are heard.
Among the issues addressed, the special orders provide for: maintaining support for Country-of-Origin Labeling; inclusion of the Market-Driven Inventory System in the 2012 farm bill; providing adequate funding of USDA microloan programs; meat products inspected under a state cooperative agreement, which are equal to or exceed USDA inspection standards, are eligible for interstate trade; and any changes to dairy policy should acknowledge the lack of market power among dairy farmers by including meaningful supply management tools.
In light of recent accountability issues concerning the beef checkoff and implementation of programs, NFU delegates adopted a special order that says NFU supports amending the Beef Promotion Act, thereby allowing the Cattlemen’s Beef Board to become a completely independent and freestanding organization. The amended Act also places restrictions on where checkoff dollars can be spent.
High Honors Presented
During its 110th Anniversary Convention in La Vista, Nebraska, the National Farmers Union presented two of its highest honors: the Meritorious Service Award and the Silver Star Award. Howard G. Buffett, Dr. Mary Hendrickson, and Odean Olson were presented with Meritorious Service Awards. And Gary Wertish of Minnesota Farmers Union was presented with the Silver Star Award. Meritorious Service Awards honor those who have made particularly noteworthy contributions to agriculture, humanity and Farmers Union.
Buffett was awarded the Award for Meritorious Service to Humanity, while Dr. Hendrickson and Olson received the Award for Meritorious Service to Farmers Union and to American Agriculture. Gary Wertish was honored for excellence in membership recruitment.
NFU President Roger Johnson said Buffett, Hendrickson and Olson have gone above and beyond in serving humanity and agriculture, and it is members like Gary who make Farmers Union a special organization. His passion and dedication are invaluable to the future of Farmers Union.