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NF Urges Trump To Back Farmers, Rural America
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers urges President Trump to set policy to back farmers, rural America

     March 8, 2017 (AMES, Iowa)— Touching on key farm policy matters, National Farmers President Paul Olson on March 3 sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging his administration to establish agricultural policies that meet the needs of farm businesses.
     Olson touched on several agricultural issues in the letter. As the administration leads policy initiatives and crafts a Farm Bill, National Farmers advised continuing support and funding of crop insurance programs, and establishment of a dairy growth management system.
     “Dairy producers need a national dairy policy that protects smaller producers who support their local businesses. This policy should include a type of growth management that would more closely match dairy production with processing capacity and consumption,” Olson wrote.
     Olson commended President Trump for the administration’s stated support of the Renewable Fuel Standard. With the administration’s applaudable commitment to improved infrastructure, he advised a focus on rural needs for safe highways, bridges, locks and dams.
     “As you proceed with making this investment in our nation, we advise that special attention and funding allocation be given to rural infrastructure, which links America’s agriculture producers to industry buyers,” Olson said in the letter.
     He also noted National Farmers’ members’ preference for fair trade. Acknowledging the critical need for export markets, he commended President Trump’s intent to renegotiate NAFTA, and the rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Olson also asked the Trump administration to consider the positive economic effects of the Steagall Amendment of 1941.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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New Farm Bill Policies
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

Ag Economist Schaffer examines U.S. balance of trade, new farm bill policies at National Farmers convention

Feb. 7, 2017 (AMES, Iowa)— At National Farmers convention in Springfield, Mo. Jan. 26, Dr. Harwood Schaffer, University of Tennessee Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, examined farm exports and the balance of trade during the past four decades. He provided a review of farm bill policy programs since the 1970s, and proposed a market driven inventory system for the next farm bill.

In 2011, Schaffer and Dr. Daryll Ray, now retired from the Ag Policy Analysis Center, conducted a study of the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act, comparing it to the previously-used supply management system approach before that farm bill. He said farm income would have been higher, and government costs would have been less using the pre-1996 farm legislation.

Shaffer said the next farm bill should be a market-driven inventory system with the following components:
—     Use a supply management program
—     Retain planting flexibility
—     Employ a non-recourse loan program
—     Disallow separate Counter Cyclical Payments & Loan Deficiency Payments
—     Use the Commodity Credit Corporation to hold grain
—     Set the loan rate at a reasonable level
—     Balance loan rates with regard to corn
—     Set the release price at 175% of loan rate
—     Use CCC storage as part of a reserve program with upper targets for each crop based on historic events
—     Employ an acreage reduction program to keep from overfilling the reserve
—     Allow farmers who want the benefit of the loan program to sign up

“In the 1970s, government officials told farmers that exports were the answer to their low price problems,” Schaffer said. But, by the 1980s, it was no longer effective.

Then, he said officials began to alter farm programs so that America’s producers could recapture foreign markets. “We lowered the loan rates and gave export credits, but that didn’t work for long, either,” said Schaffer.

He noted producers then attempted to feed their grain into livestock, and export it to earn higher returns. However, that had little effect on their bottom line. Beef exports did increase, however, beef imports went up as well.

NAFTA trade deals were supposed to be positive for U.S. producers, but our balance of trade for beef in 20 countries was still negative, Schaffer said. “We actually sell more beef in countries where we don’t have a trade deal,” Schaffer said.

“It’s always the next great hope that exports will lead us into the next golden age of agriculture, but the numbers for grains and livestock just don’t bear that out,” Schaffer underscored. “I’m not against trade, but the reality is, exports just don’t create prosperity.”

Regarding farm bill policy, he said in the last century there have only been four periods of high prices for farmers. World War I, World War II, the mid-1970s and the beginning of the ethanol boom.

“We know that what we currently have for a farm bill does not work for farmers,” said Schaffer. It’s important for legislators to begin crafting new legislation by better understanding the nature of agriculture and food. “We have a low elasticity of demand, and a low price elasticity of supply,” he summarized.

The tools we have do not deal with the characteristics that created the problem, Schaffer said. For example, insurance is not counter-cyclical, despite what was said during 2014 farm bill discussions. He said insurance pays exceedingly well when prices are above production costs, but is useless when prices are well below cost of production.

National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.

National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Trade Deal Harms Ag
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers convention speaker says trade deals harm U.S. agriculture and manufacturing

     Feb. 2, 2017 (AMES, Iowa)—At National Farmers’ Convention ’17 last week, Brian O’Shaughnessy, co-chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and chairman of Revere Copper Products, talked trade, value-added tax and mercantilism to organization members in Springfield, Mo.
     “Since 2000, more than 30 percent of the manufacturing facilities Revere ships products to domestically, have shut down as those companies moved their production offshore,” said Brian O’Shaughnessy. During that same period, a total of 70,000 manufacturing facilities closed in the U.S.
     He said he realized he needed to intensively study trade issues, and since then joined the Coalition for a Prosperous America, a nonpartisan coalition of farmers and ranchers, domestic manufacturing and labor, focused on trade and tax policies related to trade.
     “The free-trade fever began building in 1995, when tariffs were eliminated by participating countries in the newly formed World Trade Organization,” O’Shaughnessy said. He underscored America was outsmarted when we signed on to WTO because the U.S. has no value-added tax.
     He cited an example for a product with a $100 value the U.S. sells to Mexico. Because of the 15 percent VAT tax in Mexico, it costs $115 to get it into the country. But, when a product with a $100 value is sold to the U.S. from Mexico, that same VAT rebates $15 to Mexican producers, which means their cost to sell to the U.S. is only $85.
     He pointed out the VAT tax, which averages 19 percent in the world, was allowed to continue under WTO rules, because it was considered a consumption tax, and not a tariff. But in reality, VAT is really a tariff on U.S. goods going into a foreign country.
     Countries that operate under mercantile-based economies, including China, Mexico, Germany and France, have used VAT to help subsidize the producers of various products in their countries, he said. That amounts to a barrier on imports and a subsidy on exports for them.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Olson Says Use Supply Management, Befriend Consumers
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

National Farmers President Olson advises farmers to produce only what market will bear, for American consumers’ wishes

     Feb. 2, 2017 (AMES, Iowa)—National Farmers President Paul Olson, Taylor, Wis., lauded the merits of commodity supply management and producing for consumer demand, and he emphasized organizational growth in 2016, at National Farmers national convention in Springfield, Mo., Jan. 26.
     Olson’s president’s message during a reception and awards ceremony was consistent with National Farmers’ aims to help producers increase farm revenue. He recognized the expertise of commodity risk managers and marketers in the grain and livestock divisions, and said to members, “Set a price. Only produce what the market will bear. Don’t overproduce.”
     The organization has proposed a supply management plan for dairy producers. “I want to thank our friends at Organic Valley [for managing supply]. It works,” Olson said. It can work in the conventional dairy market segment, as well, he suggested.
     There’s another step for farmers to take. “I agree with NFU President Roger Johnson. We also have to produce what the consumer wants,” he said. National Farmers Union and National Farmers Organization have worked together in the policy arena for decades.
     Family producers are in the middle of an international industry, whether it’s livestock, grain or dairy, Olson said. He said when enough consumers realize family farmers need their support in the grocery aisle, and that it will help rural America, they will be the best of friends.
     “And they’ll want to buy from our type of farms,” he said. Reaching those consumers will happen through partnerships with like-minded processors, by reaching out to them, he said.
     The pace at which National Farmers locations are receiving inquiry calls has increased. “We’re adding more new farms and new members than we have for many years. That’s positive,” he said. This comes at a time when many Northeast and Great Lakes region producers with other dairy marketers have been removed from milk pickup routes.
     Olson suggested members also recall National Farmers’ top priorities. “Two things fuel this organization,” he said. “It’s people and production.”
     The motivation for marketing together and representing farmers is “to make things better for the next generation,” Olson said.
     National Farmers Vice President Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa, addressed members Jan. 26, as well. Riniker, a cattle producer, noted the price drops in that farm sector, but testified to his own success, and that of other producers’, using contracts through National Farmers livestock risk management programs.
     Riniker conveyed the same solution-focused viewpoint as Olson. “Farmers working with farmers, that’s what National Farmers is about,” he said.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Members Approve New Ag Policy
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

Conventional and organic agriculture policies approved by National Farmers members

     Feb. 2, 2017 (AMES, Iowa)—National Farmers Organization members voted in favor of agricultural policy positions at its 2017 Convention in Springfield, Mo. Jan. 26. From funding for crop insurance and grain loan rates to organic grain import issues, dairy supply management and the renewable fuel standards, members voted in favor of the following policy positions:

Crop Insurance
    • Affordable crop insurance is an integral part of overall ag policy
    • Members support current funding levels
    • Crop insurance is effective in protecting farm incomes and securing operating loans
    • Organic producers increasingly rely on crop insurance protection
    • National Farmers supports premium rates commensurate with organic payments available for losses incurred

Grain Policy
    • Price support levels for major storable commodities based at 85 percent of production costs
    • USDA corn loan rates of $4 per bu., wheat $6 per bu., soybeans $9 per bu.
    • Supports re-enactment of a farmer-owned grain reserve
    • Reserve isolated from the market and supply of last resort
    • Only released at 120 percent of the above proposed loan rates
    • Full investigation by Senate and House Agriculture committees of fraudulent organic grain imports

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

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

     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Convention Ag Tech
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

Innovation will help feed 9 billion, increase information, safety

     Feb. 1, 2017 (AMES, Iowa)—Future crop-related technology, grain handling safety and variable rate technology came to the forefront at National Farmers national convention in Springfield, Mo. Jan 25, in sessions led by three University of Missouri-Columbia Extension engineers.
     Agricultural technology and the ability to feed the 9 billion people estimated to populate the planet by 2050 are closely connected, said Leon Schumacher, Ph.D., program chair, Agricultural Systems Management. The population increase will require a 70 percent increase in food, and technology may help through smart power systems, precision agriculture, farm management software, affordable sensors, smart internet systems and a mesh-like internet grid, and a plan to transfer U.S. technology to other countries, he said.
     “In so many ways, the future’s in our hands,” Shumacher said, referring to cell phones. John Deere and Case-IH each offer 32 free apps on GooglePlay, Caterpillar, nine and AGCO, three. Beyond that, producers can run many ag systems from smartphones, and find tractor rollover detection apps and apps to reduce environmental risks by calculating pesticide volumes. Technology is great if it’s cost-effective, he said. “These systems are becoming more and more cost effective with the aid of the cell phone. They really are,” he said.
     Kent Shannon, MU Extension engineer, said he sees progress ahead in technology with soil sensors and variable rate planting, including planting more than one hybrid. Sensors are also paired with drone technology to collect information, and companies more and more will bring soil maps and nitrogen application maps that way, he said.
     Nitrogen is the number one researched soil nutrient, Shannon said, and in 55 MU replicated on‐farm trials, with sensor-based nitrogen application, the results showed the method’s effectiveness.
1. Increased corn yield by 2 bushels/acre
2. Reduced N use by 14 pounds/acre
3. Increased partial profit by $17/acre
     “A lot hasn’t changed since the inception of the technology,” Shannon said. “ We continue to fine-tune. The sensors get smaller, we’re able to collect more information and be more efficient at what we do out there on the farm.”
     Ag innovation reaches into the grain handling safety sector, as well. Bob Schutlheis, MU Extension engineer, said, “Never enter a bin, that has flowing grain, ever,” Schultheis emphasized. “Once it hits you about right here,” he said, motioning to about his knees, “you’re done.”
     With a tabletop model grain bin, Schultheis demonstrated for producers how quickly entrapment can happen, and suggested producers talk to their fire departments about obtaining rescue tubes. Fire department officials can work with MU Extension to learn how to get a grain bin rescue tube.
     Schultheis stressed following safety practices, such as not operating grain handling equipment without another person present and if a producer must enter a bin, wearing a harness with a safety line attached to the outside.
     “Successful storage of grain is safe storage of grain,” Schultheis said. He urged monitoring of bins for safe oxygen levels, moisture and temperature with meters, and probes for samples from different places and increased accuracy.
     Presentations given by Leon Schumacher, Technology and Agriculture, Kent Shannon, Variable Rate Technology, and Bob Schultheis, Grain Safety Technology, at National Farmers national convention Jan. 25 are available at http://extension.missouri.edu/webster/pres-2017-01-25.aspx.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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Winning Agenda for National Convention
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

Communications Media Producer Helene Bergren
515.598.4670
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
Facebook: National Farmers
For Immediate Release

Grain tech, trade, ag marketing, risk management headline 2017 National Farmers’ January convention

     AMES, Iowa —(Jan. 17, 2017) Aces in agriculture innovation, veterinary medicine, risk management, commodity marketing, trade and economics will deal a royal flush of farm information to producers at National Farmers’ national convention Jan. 25-27 in Springfield, Mo.
     “We know farmers want to learn and apply information that will help them profit on their operations, so we’ve developed a Convene ’17 agenda for our members that’s filled with information they can use when they market, plan for crops and feeder calf purchases, and make plans for the future of their dairy farms,” said Communications Director Perry Garner.
     Agriculture aces from the University of Missouri will engage with producers Jan. 25 with a four-module presentation, Tech Effects in Farming. Kent Shannon, natural resource engineering specialist, will highlight variable rate technology. Karen Funkenbusch and Bob Schultheis, associate extension professors, will demonstrate grain bin safety (and dangers) using a model grain bin and human likenesses. The demonstration will also show how a rescue tube used properly can save lives. Dr. Leon Schumacher will explore what may lie ahead, and give a potential sketch of future grain and agricultural advances.
     The Jan. 26 lineup brings trade, economics and farm legislation to the forefront with speakers such as Brian O’Shaugnessy, Coalition for a Prosperous America, and former head of Revere Copper Products, Dr. Harwood Schaeffer, University of Tennessee, National Farmers Vice President Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa, and National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul, Delavan, Minn.
     Dr. Craig Payne, director of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Veterinary Extension and Continuing Education, and Missouri Veterinary Medical Association president, leads the opening afternoon session Jan. 26. He will cover the Veterinary Feed Directive from the FDA, including an overview of the law, the veterinary-client patient relationship, drug uses that are not allowed and a question and answer session. In the evening, at a reception for members, President Paul Olson, Taylor, Wis., will share his President’s Address. The reception also includes the Young Producer and President’s Award Ceremony.
     With Jan. 27, comes National Farmers’ Commodity Day, and market and risk management insights from professionals in National Farmers’ Dairy, Grain and Livestock Divisions. Dr. Bruce Muirhead, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, will explain trade concerns for dairy farmers in Canada, and what U.S. producers may want to learn from the experiences of their counterparts across the northern border. In addition, National Farmers national board members are installed on Jan. 27.
     In addition to the business of national convention, the Springfield, Mo. and Branson, Mo., areas offer members the chance to make National Farmers national convention a good reason for a family vacation, as well, Garner said. “The largest Bass Pro shops in the country, Fantastic Caverns, the shows, attractions and shopping in Branson, make our convention location an entertainment destination, too,” he said. The Ramada Plaza Hotel and Oasis Convention Center hosts the National Farmers’ annual meeting.
     Members and guests can register for Convene ’17 and learn more by following the link below:
http://www.nfo.org/About_Us/National-Farmers-Convention/index.html.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
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