[Login] You are not logged in.
Office Locator   800.247.2110
National Farmers - About Us
National Farmers Organization
RESOLUTIONS - Adopted January 2014


In keeping with the Bylaws of the National Farmers Organization, these resolutions and statements of position constitute an ongoing expression of the will of the members, as reviewed and modified or reconfirmed in the most recent National Convention.


Preamble

The National Farmers Organization is committed to the collective bargaining concept authorized for farmers and ranchers by the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922. The American family farm or ranch is the most efficient food producing unit in the world. It is a basic source of support for our social, religious and political traditions in the rural communities throughout our country. We call upon all farmers and ranchers to join in the advancement of our bargaining program as an honorable action in pursuit of an acceptable farm economy.

<< back to top

National Farmers Organization 2014 Recommends the Following Action in Federal Farm Policy


Along with the usual events that impact farm markets such as foreign competition, ever increasing national debt and unpredictable energy costs, we realize that the budget discussions will have an effect on the writing of the Farm Bill. While we recognize that agricultural programs must accept their fair share of budget reductions, National Farmers Organization believes that the next Farm Bill should provide an adequate safety net in times of natural disaster or severe market volatility.

Grain Policy

A sound grain price support operation is considered to be a necessary base for a healthy farm economy, particularly for stable production and pricing of dairy, livestock and poultry production through a bargaining program.

Price support levels for major storable commodities should be based on the cost of production plus a reasonable profit. We would urge that the USDA loan prices be set at $5.00 per bushel on corn, $7.50 per bushel on wheat and $12.00 per bushel on soybeans.

For the national security purposes, supports re-enactment of a farmer-owned grain reserve program with the following provisions: The reserve should be isolated from the market, it is the supply of last resort; and, reserves should be released only at 120% of the above proposed loan rates.

Crop Insurance

National Farmers Organization supports the current funding levels for this program. Because of its effectiveness in protecting farm incomes and its importance in securing operating loans, affordable crop insurance should remain an important part of agricultural policy.

We recognize that more and more organic producers are relying on crop insurance protection. We support the concept that premium rates be commensurate with the payments available for losses incurred.

Sod busting of native grass land should be ineligible for crop insurance at the county rate for the first five years.

Conservation Reserve Program

National Farmers Organization strongly supports the CRP program. However, to be effective and fair, it must be fully funded with mandatory funds to enable the program to make competitive payments for the land enrolled in the program.

CRP should be operated in a manner that assures participation up to the maximum acreage allowed by law on highly erodible and other environmentally sensitive land and early-outs should be strongly discouraged. Sod busting of native grassland should be ineligible for soil conservation cost programs.

Dairy Policy

National Farmers Organization supports the following concepts in dairy policy.

     1)  Implementation of a growth management program that uses price as an incentive to manage production (form of two-tier pricing)

     2)  Eliminate end product pricing as a base price for milk

     3)  Eliminate make allowances in the Federal Orders

     4)  Establish a broadly based competitive price system as the base price for milk, not just a few select plants that meet a certain criteria such as size of plant or product manufactured.

     5)  As a method of balancing supply with domestic usage, National Farmers Organization supports the current CWT export assistance program and urges its continuation in the future.

National Farmers Organization also supports other actions which may not be written in the Farm Bill.

     1)  Full implementation of the Grain Inspection Packers Stockyard Act (GIPSA) rules and mandatory funding.

     2)  Supports the elimination of packer ownership of livestock production operations, which would help restore competition to the livestock industry.

     3)  National Farmers Organization supports the efforts of several farm organizations who have encouraged our trade representatives to appeal the recent WTO ruling on COOL.

     4)  Trade Agreements We support the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act which mandates trade pact reviews, and establishes uniform standards, protection of workers in developing nations and restoration of Congressional oversight on future agreements.

Commodity Futures Trading

     1)  National Farmers Organization supports legislation that will add transparency to futures markets and close the door to excessive speculation by tightening key investment laws and clarifying the oversight mission of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

     2)  National Farmers Organization along with the Organic Farmers Agency for Relationship Marketing is opposed to attempts to allow commodity futures trading in organic commodities, especially due to lack of regulation. We believe farm prices, including those of organics, should be determined at the farm gate. Futures trading would expose the organic markets and producers to the potential for price volatility, speculation and manipulation.

Energy

It is of vital importance to our country that we develop a long-range energy policy. Such a policy must reconcile the conflicting interests between environmental concerns and the need for secure source of energy, with reserves adequate to meet any emergency.

There must be a proper balance of energy sources. A mix of alternative fuels should include grain alcohol, biomass, solar, windmills and the tides to relieve our high dependency on imported petroleum products. We strongly support import fees on imported oil and bio fuels, the income to be earmarked for development of alternative fuels in the United States.

National Farmers Organization supports the passage of the FUELS act which would ease the burden placed on farmers and ranchers by the EPA through the Spills Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Program by raising the exemption from 1320 gallons per farm to 10,000 gallons.

Be it resolved that the National Farmers Organization is concerned about consequences of the current acute shortage of propane on farmers, their farming operations, profitability and families as well as entire communities in rural America. National Farmers Organization encourage members to contact members of the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture and Energy Committees as well as the Secretary of Energy requesting an investigation of reasons for the shortages and necessary steps to insure alleviation of the shortage for the remainder of the 2014 winter, growing season and fall harvest.

Land Ownership – Estate Taxes

Members of the National Farmers Organization are deeply concerned that the tax code, coupled with the concentration of capital are unfairly favorable to investors who are in position to buy our farmland, including but not limited to, foreign investors, insurance companies, money lenders, and some buyers of farm commodities. National Farmers Organization for these reasons favors the elimination of the 1031 tax exchange for non-farmers.

National Farmers Organization supports the 2013 estate tax law which retains the $5 million dollar individual exemption. We further support the indexing of this amount which set the 2012 rate at $5.12 million and the 2013 rate at $5.25 million. National Farmers Organization additionally supports Spousal Exemption Portability, which allows a surviving spouse to utilize the unused portion of their predeceased spouse’s exemption. We also support the use of fair market value at the date of death for asset basis of inherited property, commonly referred to as the “stepped up basis”. These provisions are favorable to facilitating the transfer of family owned operations to the next generation.

IRC Section 179 allows a taxpayer to deduct the cost of certain types of property on their income taxes as an expense rather than requiring those costs to be capitalized and depreciated. The maximum deduction for 2013 was $500,000 and the maximum equipment purchase limit was $2,000,000. For years beginning after December 31, 2013 these limits reverted to a maximum deduction of $25,000 and maximum equipment purchase of $200,000. National Farmers Organization supports increasing these limits to $500,000 maximum deduction and $2,000,000 maximum equipment purchase.

Transportation

The infrastructure in our country is badly in need of updating and repair. National Farmers Organization strongly supports efforts to update and repair our roads, bridges, rail and shipping. This would not only provide a more efficient method of transporting farm production, but would also create jobs and improve our national food security.

Highways

The importance of a highway system to production agriculture, service sector and business should no longer be ignored by our government’s elected officials and agencies.

Agriculture needs good roads and bridges in order to move commodities to market and secure their input supplies.

Rivers-Locks-Canals and Levees

It has always been the responsibility of government agencies to assure that the locks, levees and canals on our river system are properly maintained and designed to meet the needs of the people and business using them.

National Farmers Organization strongly urges the US Congress to full mandatory funding for the Army Corps of Engineers backlog of water infrastructure projects, including much needed repairs to our dams, levees, and locks. We also ask for funding for current and future projects to ensure our water supply and flood control.

Ports

The ports of entry to the United States are the ports that give us access to the world with our exported products. There are many ports which are not adequate for new shipping vessels.

Therefore be it resolved that National Farmers Organization encourages the government to immediately embark on a program to rebuild the port system of the United States. It is imperative that we do this to enhance commerce and provide for our national security. We believe that this should be accomplished by using tax and investment incentives from private investors as well as public monies.

Food Labeling

National Farmers Organization

     1)  Believes it is important for consumers to know when and how their food is grown and processed. Food should be labeled as to its country of origin and also whether it contains GMO products.

     2)  Supports the “Know Before You Grow” program being endorsed by other organizations to ask farmers to make sure they are only planting seed varieties that are approved by the European Union and other countries to help protect our export market from losses due to co-mingling of unapproved products.

     3)  Opposes any action by the United States Department of Agriculture to change standards for food and feed products that would be detrimental to farmers, and supports raising the quality standards for all imports to the same high levels as American agriculture. This would truly ensure a level playing field for all farmers. All imported food products must be labeled as to country of origin.

Agency Consolidation

The consolidation and merging of governmental agencies is necessary. Any mergers should be made with the consultation of individuals who will be affected by the action.

Food and Drug Administration Process

The Food and Drug Administration needs to be funded at a level that will allow it to truly function as a regulatory agency. For too long the FDA has been understaffed and does not have the ability to do a peer review on the effects of drugs and chemicals which they are responsible for approving.

It is not reassuring to consumers to have people in charge, at the FDA, approve their own research. The revolving door from the corporate world to the FDA and back to the same corporation whose product was just approved must end.

Check-Off

National Farmers Organization supports opportunities for the organic community to exempt itself from payments into conventional commodity check-off orders and opposes any steps to enact a federally mandated organic commodity assessment for advertising, research and promotion as is currently proposed and promoted by the Organic Trade Association and others.

Capper-Volstead Act

Bargaining rights of individuals appear to be under attack on many fronts. National Farmers Organization opposes any action which might otherwise alter the provisions of the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922, which may threaten the rights of producers to act in association for their mutual benefit in marketing and bargaining initiatives.

Health Care

It is vital to the sustainment of a safe and affordable food supply that rural Americans have the resources they require to continue living in rural America. Patients and their families rely on prescription drug coverage through private and public insurance programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Administration programs.

National Farmers Organization would continue to support policies that allow for comprehensive prescription drug coverage for all medically necessary medicines.

<< back to top

Bargaining

A) Agriculture is the largest industry in the nation. The production of all raw food and fiber logically constitutes the base upon which other agricultural sectors are dependent. Because weather, wars, and other factors beyond the producers’ control directly affect prices and availability of markets, the capability to bargain for fair prices is of vital importance. Recent persistent efforts of the national government to force American producers into a world market with little or no protection from competitive, subsidized production from other countries clearly illustrates the need to bargain for fair prices for our production. Farmers are entitled to the right to operate profitably and to extract the dollars needed to do so from the marketplace.

B) This commitment to producer bargaining presumes competition among both buyers and sellers in the marketplace and freedom to act without undue interference by any government agency. The Organization continues its steadfast opposition to legislation that would authorize additional federal supervision of bargaining. Such supervision has the potential to interfere with the bargaining process for organizations representing independent producers. The Organization supports federal bargaining legislation that has the potential to improve and enhance the market position on contract growers such as poultry.

C) The National Farmers Organization continues to support the concept of Marketing Agencies in Common by legally organized cooperatives and farmer associations to increase their collective bargaining power on behalf of their farmer members. The organization continues to work toward making collective bargaining a recognized marketing tool to be used by all farmers. The organization will have as its primary goal master contracts with processors of dairy, meat, and grain products.

D) The National Farmers Organization recommends to all our members that they put 100% of their farm production on a proper contract for sale through the National Farmers Organization where our MaximumMarketing programs are available.

<< back to top

Domestic Farm Policy

A) We look forward to working with the current U.S. administration on agricultural policies and principles which stimulate the broad U.S. farm economy, and which conserve and sustain the natural resources on which agriculture and the family farmer depends.

B) A farm program should be designed to operate in a supportive fashion while producers seek to balance production with market requirements and bargain collectively for profitable prices. An acceptable farm program would be one designed primarily to stabilize prices at a reasonable level and assure consumers of an adequate supply of nutritious food. It should not be an income relief proposition forcing producers to depend upon checks from the U.S. Treasury.

C) The taxpayer’s cost of a program should be considered carefully in relation to the costs of finished food products available at the retail level. In no other developed nation does the consumer spend a smaller percentage of average income for food. If we permit elimination of more independent producers, we risk becoming dependent on imports or large corporate farms for the national food supply.

D) Legislation should be adopted by the federal government giving agriculture the legal ability to market its commodities at 100% of parity, such as was adopted under the Steagall Amendment and other federal laws during World War II. This would contribute substantially to balancing the federal budget and uplifting of the total U.S. economy.

E) Family farmers and ranchers, agricultural commodity buyers, processors, distributors, retailers, and other segments of the food industry have all been lumped together and called “Agribusiness.” We believe that family farmers and ranchers should be classified as a separate and distinct entity from other segments of the food industry and should be called “Production and sustainable Agriculture” by the USDA, land-grant universities, commodity check-off groups, and other farm organizations.

F) A diversified family farm economy rather than a concentrated farm economy is the best defense against bioterrorism. However, in the event of an act of bio terrorism toward any agricultural production, it is essential that the USDA have in place a fair and defined policy of indemnification for producers, who suffer directly or indirectly, and that it be properly funded.

<< back to top

Grain

A sound grain price support program is considered to be a necessary base for a healthy farm economy, particularly for stable production and pricing of dairy, livestock and poultry production through a bargaining program.

Price support levels for major storable commodities should be based on the cost of production plus a reasonable profit. We would urge that the USDA loan prices be set at $5.00 per bu. on corn, $7.50 per bu. on wheat and $12.00 per bu. on soybeans.

National Farmers Organization supports the continuation of exemption from OSHA grain bin regulations if the farm employs fewer than 10 people and does not provide housing for temporary workers.

National Farmers Organization opposes the EPA proposed reduction in 2014 biofuels target levels. This proposal, if enacted would have the effect of further depressing the price of corn.

A) For national security purposes, supports re-enactment of a farmer-owned grain reserve program with the following provisions: The reserve should be isolated from the market, it is the supply of last resort; and, reserves should be released only at 120% of the cost of production.

B) Supports the continuation of a low interest loan program by the USDA expressly for the purpose of construction of on-farm grain storage facilities.

C) Supports efforts to make firms creating biotech products accountable to all grain producers for damaging U.S. grain exports through the release of seed unapproved in world markets, and the farmers’ consequent lost revenue from grain sales.

D) Opposes any research by either private companies or government agencies on the terminator gene.

E) Supports an effort to promote transparency and fair action in the grain and livestock markets by causing legislation to amend Section 8 of the Commodity Exchange Act, whereby the CFTC would disclose the position of large traders, as defined by the CFTC, in futures markets.

F) Supports federal grain inspection and opposes privatization of such grain inspection.

G) Crop Reports – the methodology used by the USDA to obtain Crop Reports should be revised to accurately report actual bushels available to the market or for feed use, or should be postponed until that report can better be attained.

<< back to top

Dairy

The National Farmers Organization members interpret current efforts of the Administration and Congress as not effective in adequately raising prices paid to producers. The Organization supports only those government dairy programs that treat all dairy producers equitably. The Organization has consistently undertaken to work within the federal milk marketing order system.

More specifically, the National Farmers Organization:

A) Urges USDA to establish a $20.00 hundredweight (cwt.) floor in the Class III price.

B) Believes that the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983, as amended 7 U.S.C. 4501-4514, that established the 15 cents per hundredweight (cwt.) promotion assessment has not returned the profits from promotion programs to the dairy farmer. However, it has enhanced profits to every other segment of the dairy industry. National Farmers Organization believes that promotion of dairy products is necessary but would like to see the promotion assessment deduction be replaced by a 1% per cwt. deduction.

C) Urges that in order to best represent the views of constituents, all promotional board members are to be elected by dairy farmers, not appointed by government.

<< back to top

Livestock

A primary objective of our National Farmers Organization collective bargaining effort is to obtain profitable prices for our livestock.

Accordingly, the organization supports:

A) Farmers recognize that a quality environment and humane handling of livestock are necessary prerequisites for profitable livestock production. The National Farmers Organization opposes any unrealistic regulations.

B) Labeling of all imported meats showing country of origin and entry date.

C) Mandatory price reporting of all livestock sales, boxed beef, pork and lamb.

D) Legislation and regulatory action to reimburse farmers and ranchers for livestock lost to non-domestic predators, especially in areas where such predators are deliberately introduced.

Also:

    — That Country of Origin Labeling, as passed by congress in 2002, will accomplish many of the goals of a national animal ID system and should be fully funded immediately.

    — That National Farmers Organization opposes the importation of livestock and meat from any country which does not prohibit animal protein in animal feedstuffs and does not have and enforce an animal and feed inspection and testing system certified as equivalent to that in the United States.
<< back to top

Concentration Issues, Anti-Trust and Packers and Stockyards Act Enforcement

The most critical component to survival of independent producers is the price received for commodities produced. Prices determined in markets that are open, fair and competitive are essential. A fair price for commodities at the farm gate, due to increased levels of market concentration in most commodity markets has not been forthcoming and must be addressed. This must be a high priority for all producers.

Accordingly, the organization supports:

A) Retaining and strengthening the present authority contained in the P & S Act to investigate market irregularities and bring perpetrators thereof to justice, reflecting present day prices for livestock and present day marketing conditions.

B) Greater public disclosure of key market information, such as prices paid by packers for fed cattle and slaughter hogs acquired under formula or contract; USDA’s close examination of mergers and consolidations in the livestock industry to find if competition will be reduced in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act or other laws; and, producers should have legal protection from retaliation by packers, so they can feel free to discuss actions of packers believed to be discriminatory or anti-competitive. National Farmers Organization supports inclusion of all livestock in the state attorney general’s reports.

C) Enforcement of legislation restricting large integrated corporate livestock operations which adversely affect rural communities and create environmental problems, and requiring all large confinement entities to be bonded and financially responsible for any environmental damage and subsequent clean-up.

D) Stronger investigation by the appropriate U.S. government agency(ies) of possible violations of Sherman Anti-Trust Laws regarding agri-business corporate mergers.

E) Supports more attentive surveillance of the dairy industry by the Justice Department and others with responsibility for administration of the anti-trust laws.

F) Enforcement of provisions and regulatory authority of USDA under the Packers and Stockyards Act should be extended for segments of the livestock industry such as poultry, to be brought up to standards currently in the Act for beef, swine and sheep.

<< back to top

Check-offs

Promotion check-offs advocated by single commodity organizations tend to pit producers of the separate commodities against each other in competition for the retail market. As a consequence, public relations firms and the media probably attain greater profits from the various check-off arrangements than the producers who are paying the bills. Our membership encourages all producers to make themselves aware of these activities and to study the effectiveness of the promotion programs.

It is urged that:
A) Check-offs be authorized only by a referendum of producers affected before implementation of the check-off and that enabling legislation on all check-off programs be changed to mandate a producer referendum to be held every five years or less on the continuation of the program. A producer vote should be taken within one year or sooner following the passage of the enabling legislation.

B) Block voting be eliminated on all matters relating to activities covered under the Capper-Volstead Act, governmental referendums, and agricultural promotion plans to give producers an opportunity to vote individually.

C) Commodity check-off should be assessed only once, at the time product is sold for processing. Commodity check-off programs should provide for a simple refund arrangement when applicable.

D) Check-offs must apply equitably to the imported commodities.

<< back to top

International Trade

A) We support any reasonable effort to expand exports of farm commodities; we are not in agreement, however, with the efforts of any U.S. administration and its commercial allies to depress prices for our major commodities and our land value as a means of forcing other nations to join in termination of all subsidies and domestic farm programs.

B) National Farmers Organization supports efforts by organizations, including Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Foundation (R-CALF), to have U.S. trade regulations enforced to the intent of the U.S. Congress and to make sure that trade relief laws are implemented promptly when U.S. agriculture is threatened. The International Trade Commission, USDA, other appropriate agencies and Congress should take immediate action to protect U.S. agricultural producers from undue harm from dumping actions by other nations.

C) We are opposed to legislation that would give the President of the United States fast-track authority for negotiating agreements as presently proposed because it would prevent Congress from having direct involvement in the negotiations. Such agreements must adequately address labor and environmental issues, country-of-origin labeling, dispute resolution, currency fluctuations, proper reporting of agriculture import and export data, and food safety standards.

D) Recommend eliminating the trade embargo with Cuba.

<< back to top

Credit

It has long been recognized that credit is a critical element in modern farming. Availability of funds with reasonable interest rates and favorable terms of repayment are of vital importance. Too often, short- term market pressures and government policies have been unfavorable to family farmers and ranchers. Such factors as weather and instability in prices paid for farm commodities illustrate the need for credit designed specifically for family farmers and ranchers.

In response to those needs, we have consistently supported competitive availability of both long term and operational funds for production agriculture. These features are necessary:

A) FSA programs should furnish funds for the smaller borrowers and beginning family farmers as contemplated in the original authorization for the program. Direct loans are vitally important in communities where other lenders will not service these credit needs.

<< back to top

Rural America and Communities

A) The National Farmers Organization has always given strong support to family farms and rural communities.

B) Rural communities are entitled to communication technology access such as the Internet and other new and emerging technologies at reasonable cost to enhance quality of life, just as other segments of our society and economy enjoy.

C) The National Farmers Organization encourages farmers, rural people and businesses to support the Institute for Rural America, created to bring attention to the mutual importance and interdependence of farmers, rural people, businesses, schools, churches and communities.

D) A strong rural education system is essential for all rural people. The National Farmers Organization recognizes and encourages local support for adequate, fair and equitable funding for our schools to enhance opportunities for all rural citizens.

<< back to top

Conservation, Environment and Technology

Environmental considerations are of even more importance to families in the rural community than the high population centers. The scarcity of adequate health facilities, the required availability of pure water and the urgency of avoiding contamination of our soil resources make cooperation with environmental authorities a high priority. Farmers are oriented to protection and improvement of the environment rather than to its destruction. We urge preservation of our national forest resources and protection of the soil, native sod, air and water that support life on this planet.

National Farmers Organization members are encouraged to install and maintain sound soil and water conservation practices on their farms and ranches. They care deeply about balancing wise use with responsible care and maintenance of our resources in the designated wilderness, park and forest land areas.

Programs such as USDA’s EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program) and other agency programs should be targeted specifically to benefit independent farm operators and should be adequately funded.

The National Farmers Organization also advocates caution, however, in the following areas, and:

A) Opposes addition of large tracts to the national wilderness without due consideration of the interest of adjoining landowners who are dependent upon grazing rights.

B) Proposes that federal or state established wetlands that contain public drainage should be managed in such a way as to maintain the public drainage and protect the rights of land owner to public drainage.

C) Supports the elected Farm Service Agency county committee system of administration and believes this is a proper local point at which all price support and conservation activities should be coordinated.

D) Supports those producers currently enrolled in the CRP (10-year) program. As these contracts mature, producers should be given the option to renew those contracts for a similar 10-year period. The payment should reflect the increase in taxes on the acreage from the time of initial sign-up, or allow the producer to re-bid.

National Farmers Organization supports outreach and education on the issue of a farmer-based carbon pooling trading program that will work toward ensuring equitable carbon payments for all farmers. The Conservation Security Program payments should equitably compensate participants at an equitable rate for ongoing and newly-implemented practices contributing to carbon sequestration.

<< back to top

Land Ownership

Members of the National Farmers Organization are deeply concerned that the tax code (an example would be a 1031 tax exchange) and the concentration of capital are unfairly favorable to investors who are in a position to buy our farmland including, but not limited to, foreign investors, insurance companies, money lenders and some buyers of farm commodities.

National Farmers Organization supports:

A) State legislation prohibiting the investment of pension funds in farmland or livestock production similar to the Iowa statute.

B) Legislation designed to obtain comprehensive data on absentee, corporate and foreign ownership.

C) The Amendment of Federal and State Tax Codes to allow unincorporated family farmers an adjustment of gross income to deduct the full cost of pension, medical, dental, disability and up to $100,000 life insurance plans.

D) Programs that seek to encourage young people to consider farming provided that the key component of such programs is to stress the importance of marketing and pricing alternatives that will enable them to extract the dollars they need to cash-flow their operations and maintain their independent producer status.

E) And urges the states’ legislatures to grant counties local control in siting of animal confinement units and strongly emphasizes the right of all persons to participate in the development of land use policies.

National Farmers Organization urges the Adminstration and Congress to come to an agreement on estate tax reform. We suggest the following:

A) Index exemption levels that reflect increases in asset values due to inflation.

B) Simplify the rules and requirements that must be met to be eligible for the full level of estate tax exemption.

C) Increase the annual limit on individual gifts to $25,000.

<< back to top

Food Quality and Consumer Issues

American farmers and ranchers produce high quality food in great abundance.We continue to support efforts to maintain that quality through effective grading and inspection procedures. As farmers are one of the largest consuming segments of this country’s economy, we continue to support truth in labeling, advertising and packaging, legislation authorizing class action suits and warranties that provide reasonable protection to the purchasing public.

The National Farmers Organization supports accurate labeling of all meat products with added water.

The National Farmers Organization has deep concern that use of synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone/Bovine Somatotropin (rBGH/BsT) or similar agents may induce an unneeded surge in production and reduce consumer confidence in milk quality. We will continue to oppose its use.

The National Farmers Organization opposes the use of any producer advertising assessments for promotion of synthetic rBGH/BsT usage or, encouragement of consumer acceptance of such products.

Be it resolved that the National Farmers Organization opposes the practice of putting industrial toxic waste in commercial fertilizers or in any other products which are intended to be applied to farm land, lawns, and/or gardens.

The National Farmers Organization goes on record requesting the Congress to retain the school lunch program at a high nutritional level and to make available additional dairy products for our armed forces.

The National Farmers Organization supports federal legislation requiring all imported food be inspected and required to meet FDA and USDA consumer food standards.

The National Farmers Organization recognizes the usage of pesticides, herbicides and food additives but these products should not be utilized until proven safe and accurately labeled.

<< back to top

Transportation

Farm producers’ interests are best served by truly competitive, balanced transportation networks, including efficient use of railroad, truck and barge systems.

The National Farmers Organization supports adequate investigation by the appropriate U.S. government agency(ies) of barge and rail transportation systems to maintain a sound transportation infrastructure for rail and barge shipment of farm commodities.

The National Farmers Organization:

A) Seeks to protect the position of the independent trucking operators and resist needless regulatory activities that result in increased transportation costs for farm products;

B) Calls for uniform maximum gross vehicle weights in all states. In addition to an 80,000 pound GVW maximum, a standard maximum length should be adopted for all states. The National Farmers Organization further recommends and supports that those states having less than the recommended limits adopt temporary uniform standards and supports legislative amendments to the Staggers Act requiring public disclosure of rates and terms of negotiated rail shipper contracts.

The National Farmers Organization strongly objects to any attempt by Congress to grant eminent domain power to private firms for any purpose that would divert critical water from our farms, ranches and waterway navigation because:

A) Water supplies are essential for irrigation and livestock production.

B) National policy should balance the needs of all users of navigable rivers.

C) Power interests seek federal eminent domain powers to move coal through pipelines from mines in the West to utilities in the South and Southeast.

D) Proposed legislation would bar state legislatures and courts from protecting the water rights of farmers and ranchers and other traditional users.

<< back to top

Rural Utilities

A) The National Farmers Organization supports annual Rural Utility Service (RUS, formerly REA) electric and telephone loan levels for both the new insured and guaranteed loan programs that adequately meet the capital needs of rural electric and telephone systems in order to insure dependable electric and telephone service in rural areas at reasonable cost. We support federal financing, for research, development and expansion of broad band communication technology over electric transmission lines as well as any other realistic technology for broad band services to rural areas.

B) It also reaffirms its support for supplemental financing through the rural electrics’ self-help lending institutions, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation and the Rural Telephone Bank.

C) The National Farmers Organization reaffirms its support of the authority of the RUS to finance loan requirements through the Federal Financing Bank.

D) The National Farmers Organization believes that the guiding principles in any discussion of utility deregulation must ensure that all classes of customers especially farmers and rural businesses benefit equally and that the reliability of rural electric power and rural telephone systems must not be compromised. The National Farmers Organization supports limiting the role of the Federal Government and keeping control of the electrical power generation and the process of deregulation in the hands of the states.

<< back to top

Energy

A) It is of vital importance to our country that we develop a long-range energy policy. Such a policy must reconcile the conflicting interests between environmental concerns and the need for a secure source of energy, with reserves adequate to meet any emergency.

B) There must be a proper balance of energy sources. A mix of alternative fuels should include grain alcohol, biomass, solar, windmills and the tides to relieve our high dependency on imported petroleum products. We strongly support import fees on imported oil, the income to be earmarked for development of alternative sources of energy.

C) We support the creation and maintenance of hydro-electric plants where feasible and practical.

D) Strongly supports the concept of energy independence for the United States along with the plan to produce as much energy as possible from renewable products raised on farms and ranches. However, this plan must not be based on a program in which the grain or other farm produced commodities are made available at a price which does not cover the cost of production.

<< back to top

Social Issues

The National Farmers Organization recognizes the value and the necessity of God’s guidance and blessings. Our spiritual resources are as vital to the success of National Farmers Organization as they are to our production. Furthermore, the organization:

A) Hereby renounces the present permissive abortion policy. We have spent a lifetime in the protection of all life and denounce any legalization for the taking of human life.

B) Opposes any legislation taking away the right of individuals to use force in defending themselves, their families and their property from intruders.

C) Recognizes the equality of men and women in the National Farmers Organization and appreciates the support of all loyal members.

D) Encourages and supports the right of people to form employee bargaining associations as a means for equitable worker social justice and democratic workplace participation.

E) Supports, encourages, and offers fair and equitable bargaining opportunities for farmers of all races and gender including, but not limited to Latino, African-American, Asian, Southeast Asian and Native American farmers.

<< back to top

Public Relations and Political Activity

The National Farmers Organization encourages objective analysis and teaching of the values of Collective Bargaining and pricing in our educational institutions. The land grant colleges should teach the use of valid contracts for future delivery. National Farmers Organization leaders will cooperate with educators and representatives of the news media in every practical way to expand the public understanding of the purposes and goals of the National Farmers Organization.

An appropriate amount of time and resources will continue to be committed to a friendly and productive working relationship with leaders of church organizations, labor unions, rural businesses and other groups who share our concern for the economic welfare of the farm family.

A hand of cooperation is extended to Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Grange, the American Agriculture Movement, the American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association (ARMPPA), Women Involved in Farm Economics (W.I.F.E.), National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), Rural Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund (R-CALF), Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and other farm producer organizations when their goals and proposals are compatible with ours. We believe the time has come when all farm producer organizations should make every reasonable effort to work together in the best interest of family-operated farms.

As we unite with other farm groups for the purpose of increased bargaining power, National Farmers Organization will act to preserve the protection of our farmers from membership liability for actions of our organization and of those organizations with whom we are acting in unison.

The National Farmers Organization supports the Green Ribbon Campaign which is symbolic of the efforts of people from all walks of life to ask legislators at the local, state and federal levels to work for more effective legislation to protect our environment, to support a family farm system of agriculture and to support healthy rural communities.

National Farmers Organization leaders at the state and LMU levels are urged to establish specific programs for the members to exchange views periodically with members of Congress on issues of vital importance to the membership of this organization as required in the ByLaws- “to work for the election of candidates regardless of party affiliation” (Art. II Section 3) and the state organization may assist Local Membership Units...the viewpoints of candidates running for political offices may be distributed to the membership in order that they may make an intelligent decision”. (Art V, Section 3A (2)).

In the interest of maintaining fair and honest elections and a reasonable balance of influences brought to bear on the U.S. Congress, we support the policy that all political election expenditures for each candidate should be limited to not more than the total salary for their term of office and all funds should be generated within the political entity which they represent.

The National Farmers Organization will work rigorously at the state, district, and county levels to support any candidate who promotes pro-agricultural policies or legislation and will actively communicate with all elected officials.

Rural economic development funding should include aiding the development of marketing channels through which producers can achieve cost of production plus a reasonable profit, and providing for the needs of the small privately owned business establishments.

National Farmers Organization encourages contacting our representatives to ask them to support legislative action for a single payer plan for health insurance for the American people similar to Medicare.

<< back to top

Miscellaneous

The National Farmers Organization seeks redirection in tax provisions and the credit agencies to assist young farmers to prosper in family farming and ranching.

The National Farmers Organization is opposed to:
A) Deregulation of natural gas prices.

The National Farmers Organization supports:
A) The principle of various Sunshine Laws and urges a periodic review of the semi-autonomous regulatory agencies and their rulings.
B) All reasonable efforts to price raw material above the cost of production.
C) The use of the “median” rather than the “mean” when computing the average income of farmers and ranchers.
D) Return of control of the monetary systems to the Congress.
E) Efforts in establishing industrial hemp as an alternative cash crop.

<< back to top

Appreciation

The Resolutions Committee compliments the staff on keeping members up-to-date on current issues of agricultural importance.

National Farmers Organization members greatly appreciate the hospitality and kindness that the officials and citizens of Wisconsin Dells, Wis. manifested on many occasions during our national convention. We appreciate the efforts made by news media who gave accurate and full accounts of our activities, deliberations and discussions.

The members of the National Farmers Organization in session in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., do hereby commend, express our appreciation and say thank you to the officers of our organization, to the National Board, to our representatives in Washington, D.C., and to all personnel of our Organization who have worked so diligently to make National Farmers Organization what it is today and for making this convention such an outstanding event. Under their leadership, we, the members, will continue to strive to keep this the best farm organization in existence today.


528 Billy Sunday Road STE 100
Ames, Iowa 50010
800.247.2110