[Login] You are not logged in.
Office Locator   800.247.2110
National Farmers - About Us
National Farmers Press Room 2017 Archives » 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
National Farmers supports status quo on crop insurance
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers supports crop insurance status quo for new farm bill

     AMES, Iowa (Nov. 26, 2010)—Crop insurance has become an important tool in a producer’s arsenal in pursuit of profit. But, the potential of altering crop insurance subsidy levels is creating uncertainty in rural America, as the 2012 Farm Bill becomes the focus of attention.
     “In 1998, about two-thirds of the country's total planted acreage of field crops (except for hay) was insured under the program, and that means this program is simply huge in relative importance to America’s producers,” said National Farmers Ag Policy Analyst Gene Paul.
     Farmers use crop insurance in their operating plans, and many lenders now require it as a part of their ag customer’s business plans when applying for operating credit lines.
     Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D., announced last week that he will retain his leadership position as Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and remain a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. That could bode well when U.S. House representatives attempt to negotiate the next Farm Bill.
     Protecting farmers is a national security issue, because the decline of farms could mean an increase of imported foods. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has emphasized that the country needs to focus on building rural economies.
     “It’s a certainty that the Farm Bill will need to continually adapt as conditions warrant,” said Paul. But, major cost savings in crop insurance already occurred this year, with Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) expense reimbursement cuts. The savings to taxpayers total several billion dollars.
     National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)

NFO supports 15 percent ethanol in gasoline additive
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers supports 15 percent ethanol level in gasoline for more than half of nation’s cars, trucks

     AMES, Iowa (Nov. 23, 2010)—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday it is delaying a decision about whether or not to allow 15-percent ethanol in 2001 through ’06 model cars and trucks. Although the delay relates to apparent testing failures, National Farmers joins the Renewable Fuels Association voicing disappointment in the move.
     “Ethanol is good for America, and we have a 30-year commitment that underscores that fact,” said National Farmers Ag Policy Analyst Gene Paul. It’s certainly important for the nation’s domestic energy security, as well as providing critically needed jobs for rural America.
     The organization said it’s important that E-15 is approved for cars as old as 2001, so that fuel suppliers can launch sales efforts of the new, cleaner fuel. And consumer confusion can be reduced regarding what model years are eligible to use the new E-15. EPA has already approved the additive for model years 2007 and newer.
     55 percent of the nation’s cars and trucks on the road are newer than 2001. Ethanol is an alcohol that can be mixed with gasoline to result in a cleaner-burning fuel. The primary source of ethanol is corn, but other grains or biomass sources may be used such as sorghum, corn cobs, cornstalks and switchgrass.
     “The record supports the fact that farmers can supply the grains necessary for all major domestic sector needs, including ethanol,” said Paul. National Farmers supports extension of key tax policies that help the country’s energy security, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
     National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)

National Farmers urges Supreme Court to hear poultry case
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers members join 2 million farmers, ranchers and consumers in support of competitive ag markets
Leaders sign amicus brief urging Supreme Court to hear case

     AMES, Iowa (Nov. 23, 2010)—A key issue in proposed Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rules may be considered for deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court. In an amicus brief, National Farmers joins 53 other groups in support of Alton T. Terry, a poultry grower requesting the Supreme Court hear his case, which involves alleged unfair trade practices by Tyson—the poultry buyer of Terry’s birds.
     “This goes to the heart of the question of harm to competition addressed in proposed GIPSA rules,” said Gene Paul, Ag Policy Analyst for National Farmers Organization. Despite facts showing the poultry buyer engaged in unfair trade practices, an 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the poultry grower’s case and ruled that the grower could not seek protection under the Packers and Stockyards Act, because he did not prove that the buyer’s practices caused harm to an entire industry.
     An amicus brief is a tool to demonstrate to the Supreme Court that the issue in question is extremely important, and one that will impact a broad range of people, and should be given the Supreme Court’s full attention.
     “This is a key issue, because the competition rule involved in GIPSA clarifies that when a packer engages in unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive practices a producer can file a complaint to GIPSA without proving harm to the entire industry,” said Paul.
     “National Farmers certainly sides with independent farmers and ranchers in an increasingly anti-competitive marketing environment,” said Paul. “We believe the proposed GIPSA rules are akin to a farmer and rancher bill of rights, and they must receive fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment in marketing and contract arrangements,” Paul emphasized.
     In August, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, and 19 other senators signaled their support for strengthening protections for livestock, swine and poultry growers in a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.
     National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)

National Farmers supports proposed GIPSA rules
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers supports proposed GIPSA rules

     AMES, IOWA (Aug. 24, 2010)—As livestock producers gear up to attend Friday’s DOJ/USDA listening session in Fort Collins, Col., National Farmers Organization re-affirmed its support for proposed GIPSA rules that would help improve competition and regulation in the industry.
     “National Farmers certainly sides with independent farmers and ranchers in an increasingly anti-competitive marketing environment,” said National Farmers Ag Policy Analyst Gene Paul. “We believe the proposed GIPSA rules are akin to a farmer and rancher bill of rights, and would help producers get an equitable share of the retail dollar,” said Paul.
     Last week, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, joined by 19 other senators, announced their support for strengthening protections for livestock, swine and poultry growers in a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.
     “We cannot agree enough with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s views that growers must receive fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment in marketing and contract arrangements,” Paul emphasized. “The provisions add protections for farmers and ranchers, addressing retaliation and fraud, and call for more reporting on the part of processing companies, which would significantly improve transparency,” Paul said.
     The proposed rule would:
     • Provide further definition to practices that are unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive, including outlining actions that are retaliatory in nature, efforts that would limit a producer’s legal rights, or representations that would be fraudulent or misleading
     • Reiterate USDA’s position that a producer need not overcome unnecessary obstacles and have to always prove a harm to competition when they have suffered a violation under the Act
     • Define undue or unreasonable preferences or advantages
     • Establish new protections for producers required to provide expensive capital upgrades to their growing facilities, including protections to ensure producers have the opportunity to recoup 80 percent of the cost of a required capital investment
     National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)

National Farmers remembers Wisconsin Ag Secretary
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers remembers Wisconsin Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen

    AMES, IOWA (July 27, 2010)—The passing of Wisconsin Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen saddened members of National Farmers Organization. “He spent his tenure as Ag Secretary working for the benefit of all Wisconsin farms, he never discriminated on the basis of operational size, whether large or small,” said National Farmers Organization President Paul Olson. “He grew up not far from me in western Wisconsin, and I respected the fine job he did, as well as the man himself.”
    Olson said Nilsestuen’s work on retaining and strengthening Wisconsin’s Agricultural Land Use Assessment, as well as his advocacy for the Wisconsin Working Lands Initiative, will most likely be the ag secretary’s legacy.
    “You couldn’t help but respect and genuinely like the man, he treated everyone fairly,” said Don Hamm, National Farmers Organization State President. He noted that in livestock siting cases, for example, Nilsestuen insisted that it was not a question of size, but fairness when considering township rules. “He was the type of person who could work through problems, and have both sides come to a consensus, and then convince people to abide by the ruling,” said Hamm.
    Olson and Hamm both said Nilsestuen, the former president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives for 24 years, was committed to effecting change for Wisconsin’s dairy producers as a member of USDA’s milk pricing panel. “He was convinced our milk pricing system is broken, and was working hard for change,” said Hamm.
    National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s dairy, grain and livestock producers.
(30)

National Farmers decries Ohio case of animal cruelty
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers decries Ohio case of animal cruelty

     AMES, IOWA (May 28, 2010)—After consumers view the Ohio dairy farm video depicting cow cruelty and abuse, most react quickly, and with emotion. It’s no different for dairy farmers.
     “A true dairy farmer would never treat their animals in any way, shape or manner the way the video depicts,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson, a Taylor, Wis. dairy producer. “It’s not only reprehensible behavior, but something hard-working, responsible dairy families find as emotionally disturbing as consumers do.”
     Animal mistreatment is an issue livestock and dairy producers take very seriously. So much so, that new national standards for animal stewardship by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have been welcomed by the industry.
     “We know responsible producers take excellent care of their dairy herds, and following the guidelines of the new animal care program, Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) helps consumers understand that,” said Olson. Developed by animal scientists, veterinarians and dairy industry experts, the FARM program contains a comprehensive set of animal care best management practices.
     “In a responsible dairyman’s world, it doesn’t make economic sense to mistreat your animals, not to mention the animal husbandry standards you learn growing up on a farm are 180 degrees different than the case in Ohio,” Paul said. When you view the video, it just breaks your heart.
     National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s dairy, grain and livestock producers.
(30)

National Farmers’ Farm Kids for College announces three top scholarship winners
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

Brian Furrer Karl Kerns Amelia Martens
Left to right: Brian Furrer, Monroe, Wash., Karl Kerns, Clearfield, Iowa,
Amelia Martens, Orion, Ill.


National Farmers’ Farm Kids for College announces three top scholarship winners

     AMES, IOWA (April 22, 2010)—National Farmers’ Farm Kids for College national youth scholarship has named its top three award recipients for 2010. Three high school students earned $1,000 each — Brian Furrer, Monroe, Wash., Karl Kerns, Clearfield, Iowa, and Amelia Martens, Orion, Ill.
     “The Farm Kids for College national judging panel selected three top farm kids to receive $1,000 scholarships each,” said Farm Kids for College Scholarship Coordinator Helene Bergren. “We’re proud to help these outstanding youth representing rural America achieve their goals, gain an education and secure a strong future in one of America’s most important industries, agriculture.”
     Furrer, a senior at Monroe High School, Monroe, Wash., is the son of Scott and Vicki Furrer of Monroe. He plans to major in agricultural business and technology systems at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. He wants to own and operate a diversified beef and crop enterprise, developing a butchering facility for his own brand of grass-fed wholesale beef. He also intends to open his farm to agricultural tourism, making it an educational center. He is the 2010 First Vice President of the Monroe High School Future Farmers of America chapter and the 2009 Department Scholar for Technology Systems at MHS. He is the 2009 animal grant recipient in the Washington Junior Holstein Association and is active in 4-H and Pacific Northwest O-Mok-Sees. O-Mok-See is patterned horse racing, and is promoted through the National Saddle Clubs Association. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, he showed the Grand Champion Guernsey cow at the Evergreen State Fair.
     Kerns, Clearfield, Iowa, is a senior at Mt. Ayr High School, Mt. Ayr, Iowa. He is the son of Steve and Becky Kerns of Clearfield. He plans to attend Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, to major in animal science, his interest lying in reproductive physiology. Kerns also wants to attend graduate school in biomolecular engineering and work on medical uses for swine. He is vice president of the Mount Ayr High School Future Farmers of America chapter, and is active in 4-H, band, Academic Decathalon and many other pursuits.
     Martens, a senior at Orion High School, Orion, Ill., is the daughter of Patrick and Annette Martens of Orion. She plans to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to major in agricultural communications. Martens also hopes to work to educate the public about farming, and attend law school focusing on agricultural concerns. She is serving her second term as president of the Orion High School Future Farmers of America chapter, is FFA Section Three president serving on the state officer team, and is vice president of the OHS chapter of the National Honor Society.
     The national scholarship competition is open to high school seniors committed to pursuing college degrees in agricultural fields. The Farm Kids for College competition is based on students’ academic achievement, extracurricular activities, character and future contribution to agriculture.
     National Farmers provides professional marketing and risk management services for grain, livestock and dairy commodities, as well as farm financial services for producers nationwide. “It’s a natural extension of National Farmers’ goals that we would encourage and help young people pursue their goals in American agriculture,” Bergren added.
(30)

Value–added probiotic milk venture rolled out to dairy members
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

Value–added probiotic milk venture rolled out to dairy members at National Farmers Convention ’10

     CORALVILLE, IOWA (Jan. 21, 2010)—National Farmers Dairy Division rolled out its new probiotic milk program at its national convention in Coralville, Iowa, Wednesday. The value—added milk venture partners the organization with Ganeden Biotech and selected milk processors to supply probiotic milk to consumers.
     “National Farmers is excited to be able to provide the health benefits of probiotic-enhanced milk to consumers, while at the same time providing another stream of revenue for our nation’s family dairy farmers,” said Bradley Rach, NFO national dairy director. “The quality of Ganeden Biotech’s probiotic strain, GanedenBC30, coupled with the caliber of the company’s scientific operations, made it the ideal partner for our organization.”
     Probiotics, dubbed good bacteria, have been shown to support healthy digestive and immune systems. Unlike many other popular probiotics strains, Ganeden Biotech’s patented probiotic strain, GanedenBC30, is easily able to survive harsh manufacturing conditions, including those associated with milk production. This makes it an ideal probiotic for beverage and food applications.
     “As a milk cooperative, we’re searching for ways to improve farmer member income through value added products,” said Rach. “Because of the uniqueness of this new probiotic milk offering, and the fact that we are the sole supplier of this milk to processors, it can mean real dividends to our dairy members.”
(30)

National Farmers promotes Cooperative Marketing Initiative at Convention
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

National Farmers promotes Cooperative Marketing Initiative at Convention ’10

     CORALVILLE, IOWA (Jan. 21, 2010)—National Farmers Dairy Division Director Bradly Rach, promoted the organization’s Cooperative Marketing Initiative (CMI) to members and the media at National Farmers Convention 2010 in Coralville, Iowa.
     “Our Cooperative Marketing Initiative (CMI) would complement CWT, to help improve general milk price levels across the country,” said Rach. National Farmers’ proposal takes a non-governmental approach, where America’s dairy producers can join together to alter the dairy marketing and pricing landscape.”
     Rach proposed that CMI could become an extension of CWT and continue to be administered by National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). CMI would perform three functions.
  • It would set national production levels consistent with national usage
  • Assign to each cooperative a production level consistent with their share of usage
  • Set target prices at appropriate values, enabling members to produce milk profitably
     CWT would determine how much milk would need to be marketed to set the target price. They would also set a base for each cooperative called “Full Value Production Level.” Each cooperative, when given its “Full Value Production Level” would assign a portion of it to each of its members and pay target prices to producers, less expenses.
     Volumes over the “Full Value Production Level” would be accepted, but at a different rate of compensation. Disputes and challenges would be handled by CWT. “We believe our proposal is unique from others, because it calls for no government involvement,” Rach said.
     Rach noted that although CWT retired 61,000 lactating cows from the nations dairy herd in the last 16 months, but during that same timeframe 55,000 lactating cows crossed the border into the United States.
     That factor, along with new technology, may make it increasingly difficult for family farms to remain sustainable. Recently National Milk Producer Federation (NMPF) reported that sexed semen technology has already added 132,000 lactating cows to the national herd.
     National Farmers is a group marketing, price negotiating and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)

GMP pros suggest options to manage corn price drop
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

To manage fallout from NASS corn crop estimate, GMP pros suggest options

     CORALVILLE, Iowa (Jan. 20, 2010)—The recent corn price dip of 50 cents to 60 cents per bu. is on the minds of grain growers at National Farmers’ annual farm business meeting held Jan. 18-21 in Coralville, Iowa.
     But National Farmers GrainMarketing Plus Grain Analyst Pete Lorenz said producers can capitalize on marketing strategies to minimize the impact. A veteran grain marketer who assists producers with managing price risk, he is urging producers in with corn that needs to be sold because of quality issues to look at market planning.
     “There are ways they could pick up gains in the market that may occur later, such as options,” Lorenz said. “Price concerns may straighten out in the spring, because of attempts to encourage planting more corn acres.” For assistance, contact Lorenz at 785.545.8519.
     Many producers do want to market corn right away for those quality reasons. Talk in the trade is putting that number at 2 billion bu. to 3 billion bu. with concerns of deteriorating conditions.
     “It was put in wet,” Lorenz said. “So it doesn’t store well.” And test weights may have an influence on final figures, though the depth of that impact is uncertain.
     Further, USDA said it will issue another report on the 2009 crop in March. “When they say they may come out with another report, they’re saying they don’t yet know what the crop is. The numbers aren’t final,” Lorenz explained.
     NASS [National Agriculture Statistics Service] included unharvested acres, and production expected in the 13.15 billion bushel estimate. The increase of about 200 million bushels from the November report could cost U.S. farmers about $6.5 billion, said Lorenz. Additionally, the problem extends to areas where corn is standing in the fields, snowy fields in some cases.
     Producers in pockets of the western Corn Belt, in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota and Iowa, with corn still standing in the field, are discussing the impacts of the report’s estimates. “It’s not a lot individually, but it adds up to a lot cumulatively,” Lorenz said.
     Numbers in a recent USDA weekly crop report indicate about 5 percent of the crop remains in the field, and is at risk for field loss. National Farmers GrainMarketing Plus field representatives will monitor the situation on behalf of producers, and offer marketing solutions as appropriate.
     National Farmers is a group marketing, price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)

Speculation reform, antitrust workshops, carbon sequestration headline Convention 2010
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director
...528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
For Immediate Release

At National Farmers Convention ’10, members approve ag policy positions

In wake of Haiti disaster, new World Food Reserve would help the hungry

     CORALVILLE, IOWA (Jan. 20, 2010)—At its national convention in Coralville, Iowa Tuesday, National Farmers Organization members announced support for creating a world food reserve in the wake of the Haiti disaster.
     “The natural disaster in Haiti clearly shows why it’s time to establish a world food reserve,” said National Farmers Organization Ag Policy Analyst Gene Paul. “This program would create a commodity storage reserve system, and help stabilize world food supplies.”
     Organization members urged all farm groups and cooperatives to support the concept. The new food storage reserve would complement the U.N.’s World Food Program.
     “Unfortunately, almost on a daily basis, we hear reports of hunger and starvation in some parts of the world, and in our own country there is an ever-growing demand at food shelves,” Paul said.

     Additional policy positions
  • •   Commodity speculation reform was also high on the priority list for delegates, as they voiced support for legislation to add transparency to futures markets and close the door to excessive speculation. The policy plank would tighten key investment laws and clarify the oversight mission of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • •   Carbon sequestration issues were discussed, and members noted that U.S. farmers need to be provided with a solid, verifiable analysis—free of political influence—of the potential impacts of ongoing climate change. Members noted that recent conflicting data and reports of climate change trendlines indicate that more knowledge is needed before implementing policies that would significantly impact ag producers financially
  • •   Members enthusiastically commended the Department of Justice (DOJ) and USDA’s series of anti-trust workshops, and encouraged all farmers and ranchers to attend

     National Farmers is a group marketing, price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
(30)