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National Farmers Organization
RESOLUTIONS - Adopted January 2016

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.


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.

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National Farmers Organization 2016 Recommends the Following Action

National Farmers Organization believes that the Farm Legislation should provide an adequate safety net in times of natural disaster or severe market volatility.

Grain Policy

Price support levels for major storable commodities should be based 85% of the cost of production. We would urge that the USDA loan rates be set at $4.00 per bushel on corn, $6.00 per bushel on wheat and $9.00 per bushel on soybeans.

For the national security purposes, National Farmers Organization 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.

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 continues to support the following concepts in future 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 price for milk

     3)  Eliminate make allowances in the Federal Orders Orders

     4)  Establish a broadly based competitive price system as the base price for milk, rather than 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 legislative actions.

     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)  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.

     4)  Trade 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. For these reasons we urge congress to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

     5)  National Farmers Organization recommends eliminating the Trade Embargo with Cuba.

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.


It is of vital importance to our country that we develop a long-range energy policy.

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 opposes the exporting of domestic crude oil.

National Farmers Organization opposes any changes to the Renewable Fuels Act (RFA).

Taxation — Estate and Income

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. National Farmers Organization favors the elimination of the 1031 tax exchange for non-farmers.

National Farmers Organization supports the 2013 American Taxpayer Relief Act which made permanent the $5 million dollar individual exemption. We further support the indexing of this amount which set the 2014 rate at $5.34 million and the 2015 rate at $5.43 million, and the 2016 rate at $5.45 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 2014 was $500,000 and the maximum equipment purchase limit was $2,000,000. For years beginning after December 31, 2014 these limits reverted to a maximum deduction of $25,000 and maximum equipment purchase of $200,000. National Farmers Organization supports permanently restoring these limits to $500,000 maximum deduction and $2,000,000 maximum equipment purchase.

The 50% Bonus Depreciation provision for certain types of property also expired on December 31, 2014. National Farmers Organization supports permanently restoring this deduction.

Highway and Transportation

National Farmers Organization strongly supports efforts to update and repair our roads, bridges, rail and shipping.


National Farmers Organization urges US Congress to require railroads to provide and maintain adequate and affordable transportation for the movement of agricultural commodities.

Rivers—Locks—Canals and Levees

National Farmers Organization strongly urges the US Congress to support 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.


National Farmers Organization encourages the government to immediately embark on a program to rebuild the port system of the United States to meet today’s needs. 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. All imported food products must be labeled as to country of origin.

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.

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


National Farmers Organization supports opportunities for the organic community to exempt itself from payments to conventional commodity check-off orders.

National Farmers Organization is opposed to efforts by the NCBA to double the mandatory Beef check-off.

Capper-Volstead Act

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

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.

[End of National Farmers Organization 2016 recommendations for Federal Farm Policy]

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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.

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 of contract growers.

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.

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National Farmers Organization

A) 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.

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) 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.

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

F) National Farmers Organization believes that 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.

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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.

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.

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The National Farmers Organization supports the following concepts:

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

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

C) 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.

D) 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, and remain fully funded.

E) Legislation that would indemnify contract growers in the cases where a disease or natural disaster causes them the loss of income.

F) 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 of the United States.

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

The National Farmers Organization supports:

A) Requiring all large confinement entities to be bonded and financially responsible for any environmental damage and subsequent clean-up.

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

C) 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.

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National Farmers Organization urges 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.

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.

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International Trade

A) National Farmers Organization supports 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.

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FSA programs should furnish funds for the smaller borrowers and beginning family farmers as contemplated in the original authorization for the program.

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Rural America and Communities

A) Rural communities are entitled to communication technology access such as the Internet and other new and emerging technologies at reasonable cost.

B) 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.

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Conservation, Environment and Technology

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.

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Land Ownership

National Farmers Organization supports:

A) State and Federal legislation prohibiting the investment of pension funds in farmland or livestock production.

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) And urges the states’ legislatures to grant counties local control in siting of animal confinement.

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

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

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

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Food Quality and Consumer Issues

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.

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.

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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.

National Farmers Organization 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.

E) National Farmers Organization opposes utilizing eminent domain power being afforded to any entity without adequate compensation for both landowners and tenants.

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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.

B) National Farmers Organization supports 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.

C) National Farmers Organization 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.

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

E) The National Farmers Organization supports limiting the role of the Federal Government and keeping control of the electrical power generation and distribution and the process of deregulation in the hands of the states.

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A) 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.

B) National Farmers Organization supports the creation and maintenance of hydro-electric plants where feasible and practical.

C) National Farmers Organization 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.

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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.

A hand of cooperation is extended to Dairy Cooperatives 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), Green Ribbon Campaign and other farm producer organizations when their goals and proposals are compatible with ours.

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” (National Farmers Organization By-Laws 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”. (National Farmers Organization By-Laws Art V, Section 3A (2)).

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.

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.

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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) Efforts in establishing industrial hemp as an alternative cash crop.

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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 Peoria, IL 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 Peoria, IL do hereby commend, express our appreciation and say thank you to the officers of our organization, to the National Board, 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.

National Farmers Organization