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National Farmers supports COOL defense fund
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 COOL defense fund

     AMES, Iowa (Oct. 2, 2013) —National Farmers Organization is reaffirming its commitment to Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), by supporting National Farmers Union (NFU) and its COOL defense fund.
     “Country of origin labeling has been the law of the land for the last five years, yet it is still encountering legal challenges,” said National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul. We are pleased to assist NFU and its allies as they defend COOL.
     National Farmers Union, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the Consumers Federation Association (CFA) are defendant-intervenors in a case filed July 8 by nine groups who oppose COOL. The court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction sought by the groups. Now, the groups who oppose COOL are appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
     Country of Origin Labeling is a labeling law that requires retailers, such as full-line grocery stores, supermarkets, and club warehouse stores, notify their customers with information regarding the source of certain foods. Food products, (covered commodities) contained in the law include muscle cut and ground meats: beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, and chicken, as well as others.
     National Farmers is an agriculture risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Senate Farm Bill Now
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 Organization supports Senate version of Farm Bill proposal

     AMES, Iowa (Aug. 28, 2013) —National Farmers and its state affiliate organizations announced their support for the Senate version of the Farm Bill proposal. The organization emphasizes that with only nine legislative days remaining after the August congressional recess, the farm bill timer is running short.
     “Once Congress resumes its work in September, it’s extremely important that they address the urgency of a new farm bill by appointing a conference committee to resolve policy differences,” said National Farmers legislative coordinator Gene Paul. “The Senate has already appointed its conferees, and we urge the House to do the same as soon as possible, said Paul,”
     The following state National Farmers organizations support the Senate version of the farm bill: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, New York, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The organization generally supports the Senate version, rather than the House version of the bill, Paul said. The current farm bill is set to expire Sept. 30.
     National Farmers is an agriculture risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Banking Reform Needed
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 legislation for increased banking, economic security

     AMES, Iowa (July 23, 2013)—At the National Farmers national board meeting July 17, national board members supported measures in the proposed 21st Century Glass Steagall Act and the proposed Return to Prudent Banking Act, citing the need to prevent a potential banking crisis domino effect, and ultimately protect the economy.
     Both bills would remove the connection of investment banking and commercial banking in one institution. In investment banks, products such as hedge funds rule the day. Commercial banks primarily provide services such as checking and savings. The 21st Century Glass Steagall Act (S. 1282) was introduced July 11 by Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.), John McCain, (R-Ariz.), Maria Cantwell, (D-Wash.) and Angus King, (I-Me.)
     If passed, large financial institutions would be unable to access FDIC-insured savings and deposits, using the money and a variety of investment products to speculate. Ultimately, it would end practices relying on the belief that a banking type of entity could grow too large to buckle under financial strain.
     National Farmers leadership recognizes debate continues about the causes of the Great Recession, and whether the safeguards this bill provides would have prevented that crisis. However, the internal connection in an institution between investment and commercial banking increases risk exposure. At National Farmers, we are intentional about managing price risk for producers, and respectfully request Congress to be intentional, manage banking risk and protect lending customers on farms and in cities alike.
     Many economists say this is a more secure system, and would prevent future problems of investment risk exposure to commercial banks and their customers. National Farmers, for the benefit of agriculture and consumers, supports reinstating long-held safeguards.
     The Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2013 was introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 129) and the U.S. Senate (S. 985) in May. Previously protective measures were in place in The Glass-Steagall Act (Banking Act of 1933), but those were repealed in 1999, with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
     Some who urged repeal of the original Glass-Steagall – now publicly say they were wrong. Former President Bill Clinton. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Former Merrill Lynch CEO David Komansky. U.S. Representative Steny Hover, (D-Md.).
     The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, was a start toward correcting problems, and was meant to fill loopholes for over-the-counter derivatives, asset-backed securities, hedge funds, mortgage brokers and payday lenders. It was also intended to end taxpayers’ vulnerability to picking up the bill if a large conglomerate failed, known as Too Big To Fail bailouts. And the 2010 Act created a council to examine systemic risks caused by conglomerates and products or financial activities that could threaten the economy.
     But the 2010 legislation didn’t go far enough.
     Other organizations support addressing core banking security issues, such as the systemic risk of Too Big To Fail, including the Independent Community Bankers Association, and National Farmers Union, which supported the Return to Prudent Banking Act.
     Farmers, ranchers and consumers count on their financial institutions to remain sound. National Farmers national board members support measures isolating commercial banking and investment banking, and other provisions in these bills. The organization urges passage of legislation that increases security of America’s banking system.
     National Farmers is a group marketing and price negotiation provider for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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USDA’s high estimated corn plantings run counter to veteran grain marketing analyst opinion
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

USDA’s high estimated corn plantings run counter to veteran grain marketing analyst opinion

Re-survey rumors indicate bad data; one-day market price reaction costs America’s farmers $3 billion

     AMES, Iowa (July 1, 2013) — Last week’s USDA corn planting estimates are causing markets to move lower, but a grain industry analyst believes USDA’s numbers are a pipe dream of sorts.
     “It just doesn’t make sense, I’ve got to wonder how USDA came up with an increase in acres from March planting intentions, when we’ve got big holes in production because of weather,” says National Farmers Organization’s Senior Grain Marketing Analyst, Pete Lorenz.
     Lorenz says Friday’s numbers were based on June 1 planting intentions, but since then he has spoken with producers in several key states who still cannot work their fields. “We’ve supposedly planted the highest number of corn acres since 1936—some 97.4 million acres, but given the spring we’ve had, I find that number incredibly high, and I’m not alone.”
     There is industry talk that 14 grain-producing states may be re-surveyed. “It cost American farmers $3 billion on the day the report was released alone,” Lorenz says. If USDA suspects it doesn’t have accurate numbers or the survey isn’t really complete, releasing the report can cause real economic harm,” Lorenz emphasizes.
     Last Friday’s USDA estimates increased planted corn acres in Arizona, Nevada, North Dakota and Oregon, which are not big corn production states, relatively speaking. Lorenz says there were more planted acres washed out in Illinois, for example than total corn raised in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, combined. “To grain industry professionals, it’s humorous to mention those three states as report influencers,” he says.
     The report lowered planted acres estimates by 600,000 in Illinois and 200,000 in Iowa, compared to last year. But, Minnesota estimates are only 50,000 acres lower, compared to a year ago and Lorenz believes the figure should be reduced much more.
     “Wisconsin wasn’t mentioned at all, and the Badger state lagged the most in planting progress,” Lorenz says. It’s easy to believe farmers may not be planting record numbers of soybeans because of flood worry in many states, yet USDA also pegged soybeans at a record high 77.7 million acres.
     The four-decade grain-marketing veteran said that once the market absorbs the report, all eyes will turn to weather forecasts. And, if there’s a risk of hot and dry weather by mid-to late-July when pollination is at full tilt, there could be a real market reaction. “This crop is still very susceptible to another weather event,” says Lorenz.
     National Farmers is an agriculture risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Lack of farm bill impacts farmers and 23 million people in ag industry, consumers too
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

Lack of farm bill impacts farmers and 23 million people in ag industry, consumers too

Dairy producers hit particularly hard after legislation to modernize markets thrown out, National Farmers Organization advocates milk producers market together to solve problem

     AMES, Iowa (June 25, 2013) — Last week’s farm bill defeat in the U.S. House of Representatives creates uncertainty across a broad spectrum of America, not only for grain, dairy and livestock producers, but also for the consumers who depend on the fruits, grains and meats of their labor.
     With 23 million jobs dependent on agriculture, it’s important to get the legislation right, according to National Farmers Organization President, Paul Olson. “The lack of a new farm bill creates uncertainty for producers, and that negatively impacts business decisions that folks in rural America have to make on a daily basis,” Olson said. “The wet weather has introduced enough uncertainty for America’s grain growers; we don’t need additional man-made problems.”
     Yet, that is exactly what happened last week with the farm bill’s defeat. It impacts dairy producers particularly hard, because the Dairy Security Act, which would have modernized markets, was eliminated from the legislation.
     “Enough is enough. I wonder how much longer dairy farmers will put their trust in Washington to address their problems,” said Brad Rach, Director of the dairy division for National Farmers. “This brings into focus the fact that dairy producers need to be doing more to work together in the marketplace to start solving their own pricing problems.”
     In an article he co-wrote in the June edition of Hoard’s Dairyman, Rach points out the milk cooperative landscape has changed dramatically in less than a generation, and that adds to dairy producer pricing challenges. In 1995, for example, the top three processors were farmer-owned cooperatives.
     But today, none of the top three processors are co-ops. Instead they are proprietary companies, and two of those are foreign-owned. That means dairy farmers are now behind the 8-ball when it comes to earning stable and profitable sale prices for their commodity. A separate Hoard’s Dairyman editorial addresses the same issue.
     Rach says the secret to dairy farm profitability lies in the cooperatives share of milk handled, not of milk processed. In those terms, cooperatives enjoy an 80 percent market share.
     “Because of how the dairy landscape has changed, price negotiation will be key to dairy farm revenue,” Rach said. “Farmers marketing together can certainly gain the prices they need to cover their costs and make a profit. Dairy farmers own the milk first, but today’s buyers are so large that only producers as a group have an opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to receiving a fair and equitable milk price.”
     U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate will not pass another farm bill extension. The current extension expires Sept. 30. Ag policy analysts are unsure what comes next. But, the decision Congress makes impacts tens of millions of consumers, and the farmers who produce the food we all depend upon.
     National Farmers is a risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Dairy Producers Struggling Due to MILC Payment Delay
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

Dairy Producers Struggling Due to MILC Payment Delay

     AMES, Iowa May 6, 2013 —In agriculture, spring traditionally brings the influx of a lot of operational bills. But for dairymen, it’s hitting unusually hard this year as their land rents, and seed and fertilizer bills stack up and — a percentage of their revenue is being delayed because of government budget sequestration.
     “The Milk Income Loss (MILC) payments have been delayed during a time when a lot of money needs to be paid out by farmers,” said National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul.
     “Dairy farmers have been affected since the first part of the year,” said Robert Froelich, a dairy farmer from Sullivan, Wis. There have been no payments since early this year; they owe us for Oct. 2012, and the first four months of this year. Producers are trying to buy feed and hay right now, and without the MILC payments, its putting real pressure on them. “It’s time to get the policy changed, and pay dairymen what they are owed,” Froelich said.
     MILC payments are triggered when the Boston Class 1 milk price falls below $16.94 per hundredweight, after adjustment for the cost of dairy feed rations. The MILC payment for February is forecasted at 52 cents, March, 76 cents; April, 67 cents; May, 37 cents, all per hundredweight.
     “We urge farmers to call their congressional representatives, as well as Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, and ask them to speed these payments to producers,” said Paul.
     National Farmers is a price negotiation and risk management organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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National Farmers Announces 2013 Scholarship Winners
National Farmers Farm Kids for College







Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact Communications Director Perry Garner 515.598.4674
National Scholarship Coordinator Helene Bergren 515.598.4670

National Farmers Announces 2013 Scholarship Winners
     AMES, Iowa (April 30, 2013)—Three animal agriculture-focused youth from across the country topped the judges’ score sheets in National Farmers’ Farm Kids for College 2013 scholarship competition.
     Francesca Gambonini, Petaluma, Calif., Miriam Martin, Bucklin, Mo., and Amber Gabel, Newport, Penn., scored ahead of 18 other national finalists to win $1,000 each toward agricultural degrees in college.
     “Our judges were impressed by the academic and agricultural accomplishments of these young women,” said National Scholarship Coordinator Helene Bergren. “At National Farmers, we’re pleased to reward these dedicated students, and encourage them to make lifelong contributions to animal agriculture.”
     The daughter of Frank and Stacey Gambonini, she owns 28 of the family’s 620-head Holstein herd. She’s president of Petaluma High School Future Farmers of America, Redwood Empire Junior Holstein Association, Sonoma Valley 4-H Club, and is vice president-elect of the California Junior Holstein Association.
     Gambonini ranks first in her class at St. Vincent de Paul High School in Petaluma, belongs to National Honor Society and earned a Christian Community Service Award.
     At the 2012 National FFA Convention, she earned the Gold Emblem Award in Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Judging. She plans to attend California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo for dairy science.
     Pennsylvania’s Gabel, daughter of Robert and Jennifer Gabel, plans to major in animal science at The Pennsylvania State University as a Schreyer Honors Scholar. Ranked first in her class, she was consistently named to the Distinguished Honor Roll at Newport High School, and earned the President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence three years.
     Gabel served as FFA chapter student advisor, president and area secretary. She served on student council, and was named to Spanish National Honor Society and National Honor Society, serving as vice president.
     Gabel was elected president and vice president of her county 4-H Dairy Club and president of her 4-H Club. She served on the Pennsylvania Holstein Association Junior Executive Committee and was named a Pennsylvania Young Distinguished Junior Holstein member.
     Missouri’s Martin, daughter of Phillip and Heather Martin, career interests focus on swine reproduction research, and she wants to keep her hands in beef and swine production agriculture. She plans to attend University of Missouri-Columbia.
     Martin markets commercial Angus-Simmental feeder calves, raises and sells purebred and crossbred show pigs, and helps on her family’s farm. She served as FFA chapter president and reporter at Meadville R-IV High School, along with area first vice president.
     She placed first at the FFA State Extemporaneous Public Speaking contest, and in the Missouri Pork Association public speaking contest. She was president of National Honor Society and her 4-H Club, and was named to Principal’s Honor Roll for four years.
     And about these young women’s grades for four years in high school – only one grade on all three of their transcripts combined wasn’t an A, and that was a B+ in an Advanced Placement class.

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National Farmers Organization re-affirms COOL support
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 Organization re-affirms COOL support

     AMES, Iowa March 22, 2013 — National Farmers Organization has signaled its support for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) modifications issued earlier this month requiring more consumer label clarity and better record keeping.
     The proposed rule change is in response to the World Trade Organization (WTO) suit brought by Canada and Mexico last year, charging the U.S. violated technical barriers to trade.
     The new COOL rule specifies that origin designations for muscle cut covered commodities derived from animals slaughtered in the U.S. would be required to specify the production steps of birth, raising and slaughter of the animal. Additionally, co-mingling of meat from animals of different origins is prohibited.
     “We applaud the rule proposal,” said National Farmers Legislative Co-ordinator Gene Paul. This upholds our members’ view that consumers deserve to know where their food comes from.
     National Farmers provides price negotiation and risk management services to the nations farmers and ranchers.
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Milk Make Allowance Vote
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

Higher milk make allowance vote underscores pricing system inequality

    AMES, Iowa. Feb. 21, 2013 — As the Feb. 27 dairy producer voting deadline nears for a permanently-higher federal order make allowance level for processors, National Farmers Organization is calling into question the fairness of the issue.
     The vote gives producers the choice to either permanently adopt changes to the manufacturing cost allowances (make allowances), or completely eliminate the Federal Order system in individual regions.
     “This amounts to either accepting the fact that a guaranteed $3.17 per hundredweight in value goes to manufacturers, or throwing the entire milk pricing system into disarray in a given area,” said National Farmers Brad Rach, dairy marketing division director. That doesn’t give producers many choices.
     “We believe producers could be asking themselves why manufacturers should be guaranteed an allowance to make their product, while dairy producers themselves do not enjoy such an allowance,” Rach said.
     The higher make allowance vote is particularly difficult for dairy producers right now, because they are attempting to cope with drought-driven higher input costs and other negative industry conditions. Meanwhile, dairymen are losing chunks of equity in their operations.
     Although some of the $3.17 value could find its way back into some farmer pocketbooks, the likelihood is greatly reduced now, because most processors are not farmer owned any more—instead owned by private and foreign companies. National Farmers supports of the Federal Order system, because it adds value for Grade A producers.
     Rach said dairy producers also need to create their own make allowance, by working together to create higher and more stable milk prices.
     “Producers can add value to what they produce by using programs that allow them to bargain for higher prices as a unit,” said Rach. “They themselves enjoy the right to create their own make allowance if-you-will, to escalate prices where they cover their costs, along with a reasonable profit.”
     National Farmers provides group marketing, price negotiation and risk management programs to the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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National Dairy Panel Examines Industry Effects on Producers
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 Dairy Panel Examines Industry Effects on Producers

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. Feb. 6, 2013 —A dairy panel told an audience of milk producers from around the country in Kansas City, Mo., last week, that increasing milk processing consolidation into private hands and foreign ownership is rapidly changing their industry. And not for the better.
     Foreign-owned dairy processors that are not co-ops now command two of the top three positions in dairy sales in the U.S. And, the highest-ranking co-op now registers only fifth in total milk sales to consumers.
     This shift matters to dairy producers, because private and foreign-owned processors have less incentive to pass along more money per hundredweight back to farmers for their raw milk. Compare that to dairy farmer-owned cooperative processors, who work on behalf of their member-owners—dairy farmers themselves.
     “It wasn’t so long ago that three dairy processors out of the top four were U.S.-owned cooperatives,” said National Farmers Dairy Marketing Director Brad Rach. “Today, however, of the top 16 processors, only four are cooperatives,” he said.
     Rach predicted that unless dairy producers take control of their own destiny, cooperatives will continue to lose influence as private and foreign owners take over the processing industry. Meanwhile, Rach said government policies continue to press for programs that help farmers live with low prices, and he expects that will continue.
     Addressing producer profitability, in California, the nation’s number one producing dairy state, average milk producer margins have moved from a +$2.28 in 2007, to a loss of an average of $3.83 in 2012.
     “Producers have reacted by eliminating higher-priced feeds to lower their input costs,” said Joe Paris, a California-based national dairy consultant who provides market analysis and forecasting to large dairy operations, including 9,000-cow Gallo Dairies. “Some producers are diversifying into almonds, pistachios and walnuts. But, some are exiting the business for a more profitable use for their land,” Paris said.
     Producers have also petitioned the state for regulatory price increases to match Federal Orders. In the California state legislature, there has been an effort to raise producer milk prices through legislation instead of through the Federal Orders.
     Dr. Richard Levins spoke about smaller-sized family farms and their importance in the production industry. He said 10,000 family-sized dairy farms have been lost in the past five years, and he anticipates relatively higher feed costs will accelerate the losses in the near term.
     National Farmers provides group marketing, price negotiation and risk management programs to the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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National Farmers producers approve ag policy
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 producers approve ag policy

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. Jan. 31, 2013 — At National Farmers annual farm business meeting in Kansas City, Mo., this week, members passed several farm policy planks across a broad range of farm issues. Calls for a new 5-year farm bill topped the list.
Members support:
     1. Providing an adequate safety net in times of severe market volatility in the next farm legislation
     2. Current funding levels for crop insurance, because of its effectiveness in protecting farm incomes and role in securing operating loans
     3. Full funding for a Conservation Reserve Program that facilitates competitive payments for the land enrolled. Highly erodible and other environmentally sensitive land and early-outs should be strongly discouraged

In dairy, members supported
     1. Implementation of a growth management program that uses price as an incentive to manage production (a form of two-tier pricing)
     2. Eliminate end-product pricing as a base price for milk
     3. Eliminate end product pricing and 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, members support the current CWT export assistance program and urges its continuation in the future

     National Farmers members oppose any action which might otherwise alter the provisions of the Capper-Volstead Act, which may challenge the rights of producers to act in association for their mutual benefit in marketing and bargaining initiatives.
     In organics, members support exemption from mandated payments into conventional commodity check-off orders. Acknowledging organic producers growing reliance on crop insurance protection, members voted in support of the concept that premium rates be commensurate with the payments available for losses incurred.
     Producers also support 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.
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Olson, Mitchell Open National Farmers Convention in Kansas City
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

Olson, Mitchell Open National Farmers Convention in Kansas City

National Farmers Organization President, GIPSA Administrator call for farm bill

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. Jan. 30, 2013 — National Farmers President Paul Olson, Taylor, Wis., in his message at the Connect to Profit national convention in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 29, acknowledged concerns in the ag industry regarding producers’ access to markets, increasing foreign ownership of milk buyers, lack of ag competition and the need for a farm bill.
     He recognized the effects of the global food economy that touch producers every day, and how rapidly the global nature of the industry causes markets to move. He noted National Farmers staff and leaders have long been proponents and pioneers of ag risk management tools to help farmers profit.
     “All this makes it more important than ever to have an agent in the markets,” he said. And National Farmers represents producers in the marketplace every day.
     Another presenter agreed with Olson’s conviction for passage of a new farm bill. GIPSA Administrator Larry Mitchell addressed National Farmers members Tuesday morning and said both he and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are awaiting passage of a farm, food and jobs act. He also noted the need for implementation of the new GIPSA rule regarding livestock marketing.
     Mitchell talked about the inside workings of grain inspection and GIPSA’s commitment to protect the U.S. high-quality grain reputation worldwide. He also noted his division helps protect grain and livestock producers through oversight and inspection, ensuring grain and livestock quality and payment to livestock producers.
     In a question and answer session, Mitchell explained GIPSA testing is critical for the Risk Management Agency as well as for crop insurance integrity.
     Mitchell said GIPSA is preparing a succession plan for staff as a majority of workers near retirement.
     National Farmers annual farm business marketing meeting continues at AG CONNECT Expo and Summit in Kansas City, Mo., this week.
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Persistent Drought Worries Producers
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

Persistent Drought Worries Producers

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. Jan. 30, 2013 — At National Farmers Connect to Profit Convention in Kansas City Tuesday, Senior Grain Marketing Analyst Pete Lorenz spoke about severe drought conditions gripping the nation’s farm lands.
     We see real risk for production problems this coming year in wheat, and in some corn areas, because of the drought, Lorenz said. “In Kansas, where I live, the state’s wheat crop is in the poorest condition it has been in 50 years. And I’ve heard South Dakota hasn’t seen crop conditions this poor in history,” Lorenz emphasized.
     Weather condition and potential crop losses could lead to extreme market volatility. And it makes marketing plans that much more of a necessity. A combination of all risk management tools, options, forward contracts and other marketing strategies will be needed this year. The Crop insurance sign up deadline is March 15 for Spring—planted crops.
     With inadequate subsoil moisture in western Kansas, Lorenz has heard reports of people digging six feet down, without finding moisture — encountering nothing but dust. This puts Spring—planted crops at severe risk. “It will take several rain events to replenish topsoil and subsoil levels, according to Lorenz.
     Last year, wheat began growing in February, because warm weather came early. “Once the wheat comes out of dormancy this year, if we don’t receive rain in two to four weeks, there could be a serious problem,” he said.
     Additionally, National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent Chris Webb pointed out crop insurance is a win-win for consumers and producers. Even with the 2012 drought, government made no major disaster outlays last year, despite the historic drought.
     Lorenz is presenting to grain growers in Kansas City this week during National Farmers Connect to Profit Convention, at AG CONNECT Expo and Summit.
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Dairy producers facing many challenges in ’13
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

Dairy producers facing many challenges in ’13

     AMES, Iowa (Jan. 16, 2013) — As 2013 opens, dairy farmers feel the squeeze of tight margins and low prices. Producers' share of the dairy dollar hovers at a level that doesn't cover their cost of producing milk.
     December milk prices paid to producers fell about $2 per hundredweight, to $18.66 for Class III milk, which is below their breakeven levels in most cases.
     Dairymen's share of the food dollar, as calculated by National Farmers Union's The Farmers' Share in December, landed at $1.81 for one gallon of fat-free milk, with a retail price of $4.19.
     In addition to the price outlook, other challenges facing dairy producers are the consolidation and closing of several dairy processing and bottling plants, shrinking the number of available markets. This loss of market access reduces the competitive factor in the price levels available to producers.
     Concurrently, there is a surge in the number of plants being purchased by foreign buyers. In a current issue of Dairy Food Magazine, six of the nation’s top 15 processors are now foreign- owned, and that number is expected to grow.
     National Farmers has long represented producers' interests, addressing concerns about captive supply, consolidation and foreign ownership. "As an agricultural marketing organization, we understand the importance of competition between processors and retailers in the agricultural industry," says National Farmers President Paul Olson.
     "We market for producers every day, sending not only milk, but also commodities such as beef, corn, soybeans and wheat to agriculture's buyers. They're a needed part of our industry," said Olson, a Taylor, Wis., dairy producer. "However, we represent producers, and many aspects of our system need to be changed and made more equitable, so producers will receive prices that will cover their costs."
     "In the meantime, we continue to work for producers in the marketplace, and we urge them to market together with groups like National Farmers, that make producers' best interests one of their primary objectives," Olson says.
     National Farmers is a risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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National Farmers brings grain, livestock risk, profit, dairy future to forefront in K.C.
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 brings grain, livestock risk, profit, dairy future to forefront in K.C.

     AMES, Iowa (Jan. 11, 2013)—National Farmers announces its Jan. 28-31 Connect to Profit convention, co-locating with AG CONNECT Expo & Summit at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.
     The events combined provide important 2013 marketing and risk management insights from National Farmers professionals for dairy, grain and cattle producers, cutting edge ag technology and information, and an opportunity to see the array of ag equipment from major companies worldwide.
     Jan. 28, members will kick off convention and National Farmers hosts a Social Media and Agriculture Panel, with speakers from ag business, ag media, and National Farmers, including the 2farmgirlz Facebook personalities, dairy service representatives in the Upper Midwest. Member producers will also hear from National Farmers Vice President Paul Riniker, a Greeley, Iowa, livestock and grain producer.
     Jan. 29, the Grain Division workshop will address anticipated market circumstances, and the importance of combining risk management, marketing and crop insurance for 2013. Guest speakers include U.S. Commodities President Don Roose and AgAssure/National Farmers Crop Insurance’s Chris Webb. National Farmers Senior Grain Marketing Analyst Pete Lorenz will explain why using all the ag financial products together in grain operations matters in the current economy.
     In the evening, National Farmers President Paul Olson updates members during his keynote address, and the Dairy Division presents awards to producers for each region.
     Jan. 30, the Dairy Division will host a panel discussion addressing the near-term future, called, “Dairy Farming in 2015: Challenges and Opportunities.” Speakers and topics will include:
  • • Joe Paris, dairy consultant, The Future of Large Western Dairies
  • • Jim Wedeberg, dairy pool director, CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley, The Future of Organic Dairy Farming
  • • Gene Paul, ag policy analyst, National Farmers, The Future of the Capper-Volstead Act
  • • Dr. Richard Levins, professor emeritus, University of Minnesota, The Future of Family-Sized Farms
  • • Brad Rach, dairy director, National Farmers, panel moderator

     Two National Farmers Livestock Division leaders, Director of Operations Pat Lampert and Risk Management and Senior Cattle Marketing Negotiator Jeff Rose, both national board members, will lead an AG CONNECT Master Class at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 31, “Earning Cattle Profits During Risky Times.” The seminar (Session TH10) covers risk management from packer contracts to hedging, steps in developing a risk management program for cattle enterprises and beef quality and yield grades.
     For more information, please visit nfo.org, and click on the KC Convention logo to go directly to the National Farmers convention site for information and online registration.
     National Farmers is a risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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