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We Urge Rail Priority for Grain Shipments
National Farmers
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
News Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010
Twitter: @NatlFarmers
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For Immediate Release

National Farmers urges rail priority for grain shipments

    AMES, Iowa (Sept. 24, 2014)— As another harvest looms on the horizon for Midwest grain producers, talk of rail capacity shortages for grain is heard from rural America’s farm stores to the nation’s capital.
     “National Farmers Organization members are facing the uncertainty of grain shipment delays in the Midwest, and we believe it’s not necessarily a shortage of grain cars, but also the fact there aren’t enough crews and engines to pull those cars,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson.
     According to the New York Times, as of Aug. 22, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway had a backlog of 1,336 rail cars waiting to ship grain and other products. The Canadian Pacific had a backlog of 1,000 cars, which operates in Maine, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.
     “We started realizing the rail trouble coming our way six months ago, and told South Dakota congressional representatives, but the situation is not improving,” said Bill Schuelke, National Farmers Organization South Dakota national board member. “I don’t think officials understand how critical the situation is; there is already wheat piled on the ground up here.”
     Meanwhile, farmers contend that crude oil and freight shipping in North Dakota and elsewhere have contributed to the grain shipment delays. Crude oil companies began using rail in 2008, and rail revenue has grown from $25 million that first year to $2.15 billion last year.
     In Canada, the government has stepped in and mandated that its two railways ship 1 million metric tons of grain a week through harvest, or be assessed a fine of $91,000 for each violation.
     “Farmers deserve better,” said Olson. There will be a substantial amount of harvest grain that will have to be dumped on the ground. There will be a lot of spoilage and the situation could get critical quickly. “Congressional representatives need to contact the Surface Transportation Board and ask that priority be given to grain railcar shipments,” Paul said.
     Elevators located on the Ohio River report that barges will be delayed, putting further pressure on basis. Another financial issue concerns the delayed ability for grain producers to move their 2013 and 2014 crops, which could cause severe financial repercussions with farmers’ lenders. Loan paybacks could be delayed or prevented, then putting producers’ credit access for 2015 in peril.
     Olson noted the irony of a South American story of two years ago, when Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay farmers grew a record crop, but didn’t have the infrastructure to get all the grain to market. But today in America, because of the rail slowdown, farmers find themselves in a similar situation, he said.
     “After harvest, the crops on the ground will rot; oil won’t,” Schuelke said. “Let’s give grain railcars priority to move immediately.”
     National Farmers provides marketing and risk management services to the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Dairymen Urged to Cull Now, Maximize Profit
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 urges U.S. dairymen to cull, maximize profit

     AMES, Iowa (Aug. 15, 2014)— As the peak of summer grilling season approaches this Labor Day, National Farmers urges dairy producers to consider culling herds now, while consumer hamburger demand—and thus, prices, remain high.
     “We have more than twenty years of experience helping producers market their cull cows, and our seasoned pros believe this is the time to consider culling for maximum financial benefit,” said National Farmers Director of Livestock Marketing Garry Crosby.
     Crosby cites reasons beyond consumer hamburger demand, including:
  • •  Marketed cow numbers are lower than usual, translating into higher
        prices
  • •  Midwest capacity to market culls is expected to fall by 3,000 head per
        day because of packer location closures
  • •  Western stock cow marketing this fall could mean lower price levels
  • •  Milk quality standards are increasing, making culling a good choice for
        problem animals
  • •  Culling now will help keep milk pay price levels strong

     “National Farmers Cash Cow Plus program helps producers maximize their cull cow profits,” said Crosby. We are in the market everyday, and we understand how to secure higher prices for those culls.
     National Farmers provides marketing and risk management services to thousands of beef producers in the U.S.
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We Applaud Easing of Fuel Standards, Funds for Waterways
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 applauds easing of farm fuel storage regulation; care of rivers, locks and dams

     AMES, Iowa (June 24, 2014)—At National Farmers Convention ’14, members favored passage of legislation addressing concerns about the nation’s river locks, canals and levees, and easing environmental regulations on producers storing fuel on their farm.
     On June 10, President Barack Obama signed into law The Water Resources Reform and Development Act, promoting investment in the nation’s water resources infrastructure. The measure authorizes 34 U.S. waterway projects, and accelerates delivery and reforms implementation of the Army Corps of Engineers projects.
     “It has always been the responsibility of government agencies to assure that the locks, levees and canals on our river system are properly maintained and designed to meet the needs of the people and industries using them,” said National Farmers Legislative coordinator Gene Paul.
     “And, there are numerous ports which cannot accommodate the size of new shipping vessels,” Paul said. It is imperative we modernize our ports to enhance commerce as wells as bolster national security.
     In 2009, the EPA aggressively ramped up rules to assert more control over small farmers’ above ground fuel storage capacity. That meant small farmers had to spend thousands on equipment and services to comply. The Spills Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program raises the exemption from 1,320 gallons per farm to 6,000 gallons on farms without a spill history. And, farmers can self-certify their own spill prevention plan if they have an aggregate capacity of between 6,000 to 20,000 gallons of storage, with no history of spills.
     National Farmers is a risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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U.S. cattle producers wary of Brazil beef imports
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

U.S. cattle producers wary of Brazil beef imports

     AMES, Iowa (May 21, 2014)— As Americans prepare for the holiday weekend and the unofficial beginning of summer, millions will fire up the grill for steaks and burgers. But the nation’s beef producers who raise that high quality beef are repeating their concerns about a USDA proposal for the U.S. to import beef from Brazil — even though the country confirmed its second BSE case in cattle earlier this month.
     For Brazil, this makes two confirmed cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy appearing in cattle there in about two years. National Farmers leaders said the combined concerns about Foot and Mouth Disease, the most contagious disease known to cattle, and now BSE, show preventing these imports are of paramount importance for consumer safety, and for protection of the U.S. cattle industry.
     “It is important to once again emphasize our concerns about importing even chilled or frozen beef from Brazil,” National Farmers President Paul Olson said. “First, the health risk for Americans is much too great, and second, the economic risk to the cattle industry is too significant. On behalf of our members, I would again respectfully ask that APHIS no longer consider beef imports from any part of Brazil.”
     Reuters reported the two confirmed BSE cases were categorized as atypical, meaning the cause of the disease in these cattle was not the use of feed containing brain or spinal tissue of other ruminants, which is banned in the U.S. and in Brazil.
     These BSE cases arose spontaneously, with no link to contaminated feed, the agriculture ministry in Brazil told Reuters earlier this month. A World Health Organization-approved lab made that determination.
     In March, National Farmers Organization and dozens of other agricultural and beef producer groups in a joint letter notified officials of serious concerns with beef imports from Brazil, urging them to protect American consumers and the national cattle herd.
     See www.nfo.org/About_Us/Press_Releases for information about National Farmers’ position regarding the import of beef from 14 states in Brazil, a country that is not declared FMD free.
     National Farmers provides marketing and risk management services to thousands of beef producers in the U.S.
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Farm Kids 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

National Farmers Announces 2014 Scholarship Winners

     AMES, Iowa —Winners in the 2014 National Farmers Farm Kids for College Scholarship program illustrate the diversity of American agriculture, with dairy, swine and horticulture interests.
     Lindsey Robinson, Wellsville, Mo, and Molly Miller, Carpinteria, Calif., tied as top scorers, with a close second place finish from William Walleser, De Soto, Wis. Farm Kids for College awards three students $1,000 apiece, with the requirement that the students pursue agricultural degrees.
     Robinson attends University of Missouri High School, ranking first in her class. She plans to major in agriculture journalism, with a concentration in ag marketing at University of Missouri-Columbia. Her livestock focus is the compass for her career direction, with her intent to work in a youth livestock organization and re-join the family operation.
     She belongs to the National Junior Swine Association, the Missouri Youth Show Pig circuit, attended the Missouri Pork Institute and was a Missouri Pork Association youth ambassador. In her 4-H club, she has served as president, vice president, secretary and reporter. Robinson won the 2014 University of Missouri Ag Journalism Young Writers Essay Contest. Raised on a family swine operation, she runs her parents’ show pig business web site, and developed a site for their new natural pork business. She also works at her church and is active in youth group and missions.
     Miller attends Carpinteria High School, ranks first in her graduating class and has been active in FFA throughout her high school career. She has spent four years in the Agriculture Science and Technology Academy, and was named the Star Chapter and Star Sectional Farmer. She has also served as chapter president and vice president, received state awards for extemporaneous speaking and earned the California FFA degree and the Star Greenhand Degree. She is active in Carpinteria Community Church youth group and assists with Vacation Bible School.
     Additionally, Miller developed her own niche ag business, selling succulent plants. She participated in Mock Trial, serving as chapter president and vice president, participated in Model United Nations and was an All American Cheerleader in 2013 and 2011. She plans to attend California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo, majoring in agricultural science and agricultural business. Her intent is to become an ag teacher.
     Walleser is a Honor High-Honor Roll student at Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wis. He owns a 25-head Angus beef cattle herd, and works on his family’s dairy operation, Wall-Stone Holsteins, and at Prairie Veterinary Service. He has served as president and vice president of his 4-H club. He participated in 4-H programs such as U.S. Space Camp, State Youth Conference and received the Key Award, the highest honor in 4-H. He also played varsity football for three years.
     Walleser belongs to the National Junior Hereford Association, National Junior Angus Association and National Honor Society. He plans to major in dairy science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, attend veterinary school, and join the family dairy farm and his mother’s veterinary practice. Walleser also participates in IMPACT, the Aquinas High School Christian, student-led service group.
     Scholarship recipients must major in an agricultural career field at an accredited college or university. They write essays, demonstrate involvement in agriculture and provide information about academic and extracurricular achievements. The competition is open to high school seniors, and the award is for the college freshman year.
     The competition is launched each fall, with three winners being announced the subsequent spring. For more information, see the About Us section of nationalfarmers.com.
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Brazilian beef imports bad idea
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

Billions at stake: Brazilian beef imports bad idea

     March 28, 2014 (Ames, Iowa) — As Aprils USDA’s comment deadline draws closer for a rule that would allow the import of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from a region in Brazil, National Farmers Organization members are reiterating their opposition to the rule that could usher in Foot and Mouth Disease.
     “As America’s pork production complex deals with the PED Virus (PEDv) that continues to kill between 80 and 100 percent of affected pigs aged 10-weeks and younger, and with America’s beef herd at 1950s levels, we should not allow any meat imports from countries known to have FMD. The risk to our meat complex is far too great,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson.
     FMD, one of the most contagious in the animal world, is present in many underdeveloped nations, including Brazil and several of its neighboring countries, which share common, unpatrolled borders. Absent from the U.S. since 1929, the highly contagious virus infects cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep, goats and various wildlife species.
     If introduced in the United States, it would mean billions of dollars of direct and indirect costs to producers, altering herd structure, and requiring new management safeguards. “The import risk is enormous, yet our beef supply would only increase by less than 1 percent,” said Olson. “It’s a biosecurity risk simply not worth taking.”
     Olson recalled a market scare in Kansas, back in 2002, when a veterinarian mistakenly thought some cows that had mouth sores were infected with foot and mouth. The futures markets dropped the limit two days in a row.
     The virus is highly complex and can mutate rapidly, creating problems for vaccine developers. U.S. wildlife infection is also a concern, because it would call into question how the U.S. could ever free the country from foot and mouth at that point.
     National Farmers is a group marketing and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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No To Fast Track
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 favors congressional input on trade agreements

     AMES, Iowa (Feb. 4, 2014)—National Farmers Organization today announced its opposition to fast-track authority for President Barrack Obama, which would limit congressional input on trade agreements to an up or down vote.
     “We are opposed to legislation that would give the President of the United States fast-track authority for negotiating agreements, because it prevents Congress from having direct involvement in complex trade contracts,” says National Farmers Legislative Coordinator, Gene Paul.
     At National Farmers’ annual meeting last week in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., members passed policy resolutions that included a plank addressing fast track authority. Organization members are concerned that trade agreements can put domestic workers at risk, and ultimately expose consumers to safety and environmental risks.
     President Obama urged lawmakers in his State of the Union Address last week to grant him the power, which staffers say would help him secure new deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim economies.
     “While new trade agreements certainly can open new markets for American products, it can also introduce food safety concerns to this country’s consumers,” says Paul. For example, most food imported into the United States is produced under far less rigorous standards, and is inspected at a rate of less than between one and two percent at the port of entry to this country.
     In addition to consumer safety and environmental concerns, the organization believes Country of Origin Labeling, effects of currency fluctuation and proper reporting of agricultural import and export data should be carefully examined before trade agreements are approved.
     National Farmers is a risk management and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Dairy Panel on Future of Industry
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 panel examines future of industry at National Farmers Convention ’14

     Jan. 29, 2014 (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) — At National Farmers Convention 2014 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Wednesday, a panel of dairy marketing and ag media professionals gave their viewpoints about the future of America’s dairy industry.
     Brad Rach, director of dairy marketing for National Farmers, opened the panel by underscoring the changing makeup of the dairy industry. He noted more processors are becoming privately owned, as well as foreign-owned. “What a difference one year can make,” he said. America’s top four processors today have no dairy cooperatives on the list, and the number one processor is foreign-owned.”
     Mychal Wilmes, managing editor of AgriNews in Minnesota, talked about the changing role of cooperatives. “Cooperatives are facing a serious challenge,” said Wilmes. They are losing market share. How can they remain viable in an international marketplace?” he asked. “How do we keep the wealth generated by agriculture in our own communities?”
     Wilmes said there is an age crisis looming on the horizon, and that co-ops could have a role in assisting young farmers get into the business as their older counterparts exit. Additionally, he believes co-ops need to find new ways to connect with consumers. “They are our best allies,” Wilmes said.
     Dr. Richard Levins, an economist and panel member, focused on the dairy processing industry. “The last couple of years were tough on dairy farmers,” he said. But during those times, could processors have afforded to pay producers a little more? I believe they could have.”
     Levins reiterated that producers have the milk, and that buyers do not. “Pooling the milk, and demanding a higher price is a good strategy,” he said. Today, he says, it’s a volume game in the industry.
     “Everybody else is playing it…They can’t afford to dry up plants anymore than you can afford to dry up a dairy farm,” Levins said. “But they are up against some pretty tough competition, too. . .He posed the question: Is a processor going to ask Walmart to pay them more, or is that processor going to ask you as a producer to be paid less?
     He said National Farmers marketing strategy makes the most sense to him as an economist. They are about asking (big buyers) if they can afford to pay more in a little more forceful way.
     Jim Massey, editor of the The Country Today in Wisconsin, shared his thoughts about the future of economic activity in rural communities. He said in Wisconsin, for example, between 97 and 99 percent of dairy farm operations are family run. He said large dairy farms are still owned by independent families.
     He noted that from a historical perspective, 20 years ago, not many farmers were encouraging their kids to go into the agricultural production industry. But now, many believe the future is brighter and are helping young people transition to ownership.
     Massey suggested there still will be more opportunities for diverse agriculture and smaller operations, if they can work together with local plants and develop a specialty product that consumers want.
     National Farmers annual convention and business meeting in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. concludes Wednesday. National Farmers is a group marketing and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Farm Bill, Food Policy Concerns
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

New farm bill, food policy concerns at National Farmers annual meeting

     Jan. 29, 2014 (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) — At National Farmers Convention 2014 in the Wisconsin Dells Tuesday, food policy and the farm bill were standout topics.
     National Farmers Organization President Paul Olson spoke to member producers about the lack of a farm bill, as well as conditions in the food production industry.
     He underscored that the foreign ownership of dairy processors, as well as consolidation of America’s food industry continues unabated. And, he cautioned that trade agreements need to be critically reviewed for their negative effects on producers.
     Regarding the lack of new farm legislation for the past two years, Olson said farmers deserve the respect of Washington D.C. representatives by passage of a new farm bill. “I’m disappointed that farmers are being treated with such recklessness,” said Olson. “Farmers livelihoods are at stake.”
     Olson said consumers are more educated about food and are becoming producers’ allies. He noted that consumers should be very concerned about where their food is coming from, and what’s in it.
     Echoing Olson on consumer food issues, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, said a surprising percentage of food in America is now produced overseas. China is now the third largest producer of processed vegetables, she said. “We need to do something about food policy in America,” said Hauter.
     Author of the book Foodopoly, Hauter reviewed the history of food production in America, and changes in government farm policy through the post World War II years.
     “Food is one of the most concentrated industries in America,” Hauter said. She said in the beginning of the 1980s, corporations begin to have undue influence over government policies. And, therefore food policy.
     “We all need to take back our democracy and help ensure a vigorous economy,” Hauter said.
     National Farmers annual convention and business meeting in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. runs through Wednesday. National Farmers is a group marketing and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Ag Tech Featured at Convention 14
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

Ag technology featured at National Farmers Convention ’14 in Wisconsin Dells

     Jan. 28, 2014 (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) — At National Farmers Convention 2014 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Monday, agriculture technology came on the scene in three major ways.
     Cattle marketers from Nexus Marketing introduced a new smart phone app featuring a reverse break-even production cost calculator that easily helps producers identify what they can pay for feeders. The smartphone and tablet application also features fed cattle cost of gain and compound interest calculators, as well as futures prices and weather.
     The role of cloud and mobile computing in agriculture was featured in the opening session of the organization’s annual ag business meeting. Presenters from Farmeron spoke about how cloud computing will become the new alternative to personal computers and on-premise software for farmers. Dave Saunders, Farmeron, vice president for business development, talked about the changing role of technology on ag operations.
     He said farmer cloud computing will become the norm for producers, because of the benefits of continual software updates, automatic backups of files, data sharing and analytics. “Smartphones and tablets have overtaken laptops and desktops in popularity, therefore applications are supplanting PC software as the go-to solution for producers,” said Saunders. Ag apps are growing fast and that means massive implications for workflow and processes Saunders said.
     Sharing data derived from herd management software, soil sensors and other sensing devices can deliver real-time information directly to producers’ smartphones and tablets. And that right in the field and barn, right now approach will become the norm in the industry.
     BouMatic’s Kelsey Fink focused on overall industry trends toward automation and robotics in dairying. She outlined issues today’s dairy producers face, including animal management, markets and labor management, along with social media and consumer issues.
     National Farmers annual convention and business meeting in Wisconsin Dells, National Farmers runs through Wednesday. National Farmers is a group marketing and price negotiation organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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Dells Convention Jan. 27-29
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 convention offers slate of big names in Midwest ag, producer-focused risk management training

     AMES, Iowa (Jan. 10, 2014)—Agriculture aces will spotlight market, risk management and technology trends, and key agriculture policy issues to monitor in 2014, at the Go Profit Wild National Farmers national convention Jan. 27-29, at the Kalahari Hotel in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
     “We’re honored to host so many distinguished guests at our national convention this year,” said Perry Garner, National Farmers director of communications and marketing. “Their input about agriculture will complement what our professionals share with producers about the coming year in commodity marketing and risk management. These officials and true professionals will bring valuable knowledge to our producers.”
    Among those presenting as guests are the following:
  1. Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel, Madison, Wis.
  2. Wisconsin Farm Service Agency Director Brad Pfaff, Madison, Wis.
  3. Producers Livestock Marketing Association Vice President of Pork Richard Ellinghuysen, Omaha, Neb.
  4. Alan Guebert, award-winning syndicated ag columnist, Delavan, Ill.
  5. Wenonah Hauter, Food and Water Watch executive director, Washington, D.C.
  6. Kelsey Fink, BouMatic district sales manager, Madison, Wis.
  7. Country Today Editor Jim Massey, Barneveld, Wis.
  8. Agri News Managing Editor Mychal Wilmes, Rochester, Minn.
  9. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota (Via video)

    The 2014 convention agenda is stacked heavy with ag topics for the farm and ranch operator who wants to advance.
    For dairy producers —
    BouMatic District Sales Manager Kelsey Fink will present “Trends in the Dairy Industry” on Jan. 27, discussing the move toward automation. Jan. 29, during the dairy workshop, dairy and ag news editors, along with Dr. Richard Levins, professor emeritus, University of Minnesota, will examine where cooperatives fit economically, with so much foreign ownership in the industry.
    For livestock producers —
    In a livestock workshop Jan. 29, Ellinghuysen will address red meat’s market share, the historically small cattle herd and what Asian markets can do for producers as he presents a program titled, “The Future of the Livestock Industry.”
    Additionally, on Jan. 27 at 1 p.m., National Farmers Livestock Program Manager Pat Lampert and Senior Cattle Marketing Negotiator Jeff Rose will present, “Cattle Marketing in Risky Times,” a risk management training session for producers both new and experienced in using tools such as futures, options and processor forward contracts in their operations. The workshop is funded in part by a grant from USDA’s Risk Management Agency. All livestock producers are invited to attend by calling 515.598.4658.
    For grain producers —
    On Jan. 29, Senior Grain Marketing Analyst Pete Lorenz will address the latest in the grain markets and how risk management profits for producers, along with touching on the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard to markets. Chris Webb, National Farmers Crop Insurance/AgAssure agent, will discuss why crop insurance matters in 2014, and how it performs.
    On Jan. 27, Vice President Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa, will share his outlook for agriculture and National Farmers. In the evening on Jan. 28, National Farmers President Paul Olson, Taylor, Wis., updates members during his keynote address highlighting 2013 accomplishments, and National Farmers presents Young Producer Awards to operations for each National Farmers region.
    The events combined provide important 2014 operational, commodity marketing and risk management insights from National Farmers professionals for dairy, grain and cattle producers. All producers are encouraged to attend.
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