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Dairy Price Crisis Needs Solution
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

America’s Dairy Farmers Face Milk Price Crisis, Seek Solutions

     (AMES, Iowa) Aug. 29, 2016— America’s dairy farmers are facing a milk price crisis that is forcing producers to exit the business, putting the nation’s milk production infrastructure at risk.
     In the last 18 months, farmers have seen their annual income fall by 40 percent, while their costs to produce milk continue to climb. The national milk price is the lowest since 2009.
     “I can’t think of anyone who works for living, able to see their annual income fall by 40 percent,” said Paul Olson, President of National Farmers Organization. Olson said USDA’s move to purchase 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation is a signal Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack understands the problem is a severe one.
     However, Olson emphasized last week’s cheese purchase is not nearly enough to begin to solve the price crisis. “Milk futures prices continue to fall on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), despite USDA’s purchase,” said Olson.
     Meanwhile, producer input costs are going up, too. And, USDA’s Margin Protection Program was simply not designed to benefit farmers under these severe conditions, Olson said.
     There is a worldwide glut of milk because of production growth not only in the U.S., but also in Europe, where production quotas have been removed. And, Russia and China have reduced dairy products imports. Here at home, truckloads of milk each week are disposed of, because processors simply don’t have room for it.
     Approaches to help ease the problem have been discussed, including a dairy diversion program, where producers are encouraged to cut back their production output. Another option is a two-tier pricing system proposed by National Farmers. It calls for two pricing levels, depending on the amount of milk a farmer produces per month.
     “We need a supply management system in the U.S., and we need it implemented quickly,” said Olson. “We urge Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to use his authority to further assist dairy producers, because the country’s milk production infrastructure is under extreme financial pressure,” Olson said.
     National Farmers is a conventional and organic commodity marketing organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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We Support Dairy Assistance
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers Organization supports federal financial assistance for dairy producers

     AMES, IOWA, Aug. 4, 2016— As America’s dairy farmers labor under a 40 percent milk price drop since 2014, a bi-partisan group of congressional representatives has asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to provide dairy producer financial assistance.
     “National Farmers Organization fully supports the move by nearly 60 members of both houses of Congress who urge Secretary Tom Vilsack to step in and provide financial relief to America’s dairy farmers,” said National Farmers Organization Legislative Co- Coordinator Gene Paul. “We want to thank Senators Leahy of Vermont, Casey of Pennsylvania and Congressman Courtney of Connecticut for their work in building a Congressional coalition to help vulnerable dairy farmers.”
     A number of factors have contributed to the price crisis. U.S. milk production has increased nearly two percent over last year’s level, and milk production globally is up significantly.
     “We believe USDA has the authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to protect dairy farmers from further financial stress and to assist with expansion and maintenance of markets here at home,” Paul said. He agreed with congressional leaders for an immediate market injection and additional financial assistance that could directly help producers, but also urged caution to not add to the supply problem because of unintended market reaction.
     In May, the nation’s cheese stocks were at their highest level since the data was first recorded nearly 100 years ago. Other factors contributing to a large world wide dairy product supply include the European Union’s decision to remove its milk production quotas, and the loss of the EU Russian export market.
     “We think it’s time that Agriculture Secretary Vilsack use his authority to help dairy farmers who, in some cases are receiving prices less than their costs to produce milk,” concluded Paul.
     National Farmers is a conventional, organic and niche marketing organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
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2016 Farm Kids for College Winners
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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








Farm Kids for College - 2016 Winners

Three Midwest youth win National Farmers’ 2016 Farm Kids for College Scholarships

     AMES, Iowa (May 3, 2016)—Students from Ohio, Missouri and Wisconsin ran away with the wins in National Farmers’ 2016 Farm Kids for College Scholarship competition. And all three intend to direct their futures toward animal agriculture.
      Garrett Stanfield, Manchester, Ohio, Rebecca Sjostrand, Hartsburg, Mo., and Allissa Frisle, Prairie Farm, Wis., earned top points in the competition, which requires students to write two agriculture-related essays, detail their involvement in independent agriculture and future plans, and provide evidence of academic and community achievement.
      Stanfield will graduate from Mason County High School, Maysville, Ky. He assists with beef herd management on his family’s farm in Ohio, including daily care, such as nutrition and breeding decisions. He also helps during calving and with record keeping.
      Stanfield is president of the Mason County High School FFA chapter, and is regional vice president. He also serves as a trustee on the board of the American Junior Simmental Association. He earned the Kentucky FFA State Degree in 2015, is part of National Honor Society and participates in 4-H breeding and market projects. He plans to attend Redlands Community College, El Reno, Okla., and ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science. He intends to work in the livestock genetics industry to optimize livestock breeding, and become part of improving sustainability in the beef industry.
      Sjostrand will graduate from Southern Boone County High School, Ashland, Mo. Through the Supervised Agriculture Experience Program in FFA, she started a swine and poultry operation, and markets, poultry, eggs and market hogs to the public, including local restaurants.
      Sjostrand has served as president, vice president and reporter of the Southern Boone County High School FFA chapter, and as Area Officer. She has also served as president of Englewood 4-H Club, and belongs to National Honor Society. She plans to attend University of Missouri at Columbia, majoring in animal science, then continue her education in veterinary school to become a large animal veterinarian.
      Frisle will graduate from Prairie Farm High School, and is involved in her family’s farm, FrisleVue Holsteins, which includes a 75-cow milking herd. She owns about 20 Holsteins, either in whole, or in part, with her sisters. She assists with barn preparation and afternoon milking, vaccinations and general herd health. Additionally, she has input into sire selection, and assists with calf and heifer feeding.
      Frisle’s activities include Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association, FFA, 4-H, Family, Community and Career Leaders of America, Forensics, National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, Youth in Christ, band, sports and drama. In FFA, she earned the Greenhand Award, Top Scholar Award and Blue and Gold Award. She has been on the A honor roll every semester. She plans to attend University of Wisconsin at Madison, majoring in dairy science.
      Scholarship recipients must major in an agricultural career field at an accredited college or university. 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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Olson Re-elected as President
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers Organization re-elects Olson as President

    EAST PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 27, 2016 —National Farmers Organization members voted in favor of Paul Olson, the sixth president to lead National Farmers, for another term as president.
    He is a third generation farmer from Taylor, Wis. Elected President and Chairman of the Board in 2000, Olson’s future goals for the organization include expansion of current commodity marketing programs and a focus on forging new partnerships with other agricultural groups.
    Paul joined National Farmers in 1969, when he was only a senior in high school. He has served in offices at the county, district and state level, including county president, state board of directors, Taylor Marketing Center president, Taylor NFO Dairy Reload and Wisconsin NFO Dairy Committee member. He was elected to serve on the National Board of Directors in 1994 until 1996, when he became vice-president of National Farmers.
    Paul and his wife, Judy, have three children, Scott, Troy and Lisa. Judy was raised on an NFO farm as well, and has been active in the Jackson County, Wis. organization.
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Riniker Re-elected as Vice President
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers Organization re-elects Riniker as Vice President

    EAST PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 27, 2016—Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa, was re-elected as vice president of National Farmers. He finishes 1,300-head of Holstein steers annually, and raises 440 acres of corn and 60 acres of hay each year. He also has a stock cow herd of about 50 head.
    Riniker represents National Farmers on an ag advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. On a local basis, he belongs to St. Mark’s Parrish, Edgewood, Iowa, and is involved in mentoring an area youth.
    “The organization is moving in the right direction,” Riniker said. “ The major focus of the next four years will be serving producers, particularly in the current marketing environment and leveraging new ways to deal with these markets.”
    Riniker’s family includes his wife, Janet, daughters, Michelle (Steve), Susan (Tony), and a son, Steve, who helps on the farm enterprise.
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President's Award 2016, Earl Schaad
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

Ohio family receives National Farmers President’s Award at national convention

    EAST PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 27, 2016—National Farmers President Paul Olson presented the third-annual President’s Award, for a dedicated farm family, to the Earl Schaad Family, Waterford, Ohio, at National Farmers national convention in Peoria, Ill., Tuesday evening.
    Leading up to the award, in his presentation, Olson shared hints pointing to which family farmer would receive the award. “This guy inspired me. He just inspired me,” Olson said. He recalled meeting Schaad at the Dec. 1994, national convention, in Las Vegas, and being motivated by Schaad’s character and ideas about farming and the organization.
    “He served his country, raised a wonderful family, did what he enjoyed — farming — and did a heck of a job at it,” Olson said.
    “There are lots of words that describe this person, but there are two words that stand out: gentleman and passion. . . .He’s a true gentleman. He has passion for life. Passion for his family. And passion for the National Farmers Organization.
    “I have stayed at his farm. It’s a very impressive farm,” Olson said. “They’re a progressive farm family, and they adapted to a lot of changes, and have done a tremendous job.” They milk 400 cows three times a day in a barn completed just a few years ago. Brothers Paul and Joe, along with the next generation’s representatives, Matthew and Sion, work together. The operation also encompasses 1,500 crop acres of corn and soybeans, on rotation, and two small cow-calf herds.
    Earl Schaad, 89 — turning 90 April 8 — took the stage, and cited his surprise at the award. Schaad’s children (13 in all), National Farmers staff, an Ohio national board member family and Olson worked together to surprise Schaad with the family’s receipt of the President’s Award.
    “What can you say? There are no words,” said Schaad. “NFO has had a great part in who I am. And I want to thank you. I think that 52 years this year, this February, will be our anniversary date….” Schaad shared his Christian beliefs and advised members that the country needs to return to its Judeo-Christian roots.
    “We better get back to the principles that founded this nation and founded this organization and allowed me to have such a beautiful family that stands with me here tonight. I can’t believe it, but I thank you so much,” Schaad said.
    “My father is righteous…” Joe Schaad said. “My father has preached collective bargaining. And we’ve got to follow it and get back to pricing our product.”
    Paul Schaad said, “One thing about Dad. God, family and country are so important to him. He considers [National Farmers members] a big part of his life, and he really appreciates all of you.”
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Farm Transition Kicks Off Convention
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

Ag climate impacts, farm transition kicks off National Farmers Convention

    EAST PEORIA ILL., Jan. 27, 2016 —A retired brigadier general and a farm transition pro took the stage at the National Farmers national convention, East Peoria, Ill., Jan. 25.
    Dr. Chris King, dean of academics, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. spoke about climate change and its impacts on American farmers. King said that the climate threats scientists recognize now are more complex than they were in the early 1970s.
    He said watersheds, croplands and forests are all impacted by changing weather patterns. “It’s not just about global warming now, but a much more expansive issue, its climate change,” said King.
    3,000 scientists from 150 countries have come to understand the cause of man-made effects on natural weather patterns.
         •   We’ve likely had the warmest 30-year period in the last 1400 years
         •   That 90 percent of the additional heat has gone into the oceans
         •   He expects planet ice reduction of between 15 percent and 85 percent by 2099
    King said the amount of rain falling in the heaviest downpours has increased approximately 20 percent on average in the past century, and this trend is very likely to continue, with the largest increases in the wettest places.
    U.S. average temperature has risen more than 2ºF over the past 50 years and is projected to rise more in the future; how much more depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally and how sensitive the climate is to those emissions.
    Convention attendees turned their attention to farm legacies with the second National Farmers guest speaker on Monday.
    American farmers and ranchers think too much about ways to avoid tax penalties, and need to align their financial decisions with plans to transfer their farm operations to the next generation, said Curt Ferguson, J.D., president of The Estate Planning Center, Salem, Ill. Too many of those tax-avoidance decisions get in the way of setting an operation up well for a succession plan and snowball into much greater financial pitfalls down the road.
    He advised remembering the three categories of what farmers are passing on when they transition their operations. Producers transfer opportunity, control and capital as their succession plans are executed.
    Operators can set up a corporation, form a limited-liability company, sign a buy-sell agreement, buy some life insurance and establish a trust. However, the plan itself is much more than documents, Ferguson said.
    It involves commitment by the original producer and the successors to keep following the plan, and updating it when that’s needed. In addition, timing factors into the succession equation, transferring the right farm asset at the best point in the process.
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Olson, Ikerd call for Farm Policy change
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

Olson, Ikerd call for farm policy change at National Farmers Convention ’16

    EAST PEORIA, ILL., Jan. 27, 2016— Farm policy overhaul took center stage in East Peoria, Ill., Tuesday as National Farmers President Paul Olson and Dr. John Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics, University of Missouri-Columbia, spoke to members.
    Ikerd spoke early in the day, and said revolutionary changes in U.S. farm policies will be absolutely essential if there is to be a future for family farms in the U.S. And, that the only logical justification for government policies unique to farming is to ensure domestic food security.
    “Agricultural industrialization was a well-intended experiment,” said Ikerd. “I even spent half of my 30-year academic career promoting it. But now it’s time for a fundamental change in farm policy.”
    Ikerd emphasizes that a new multi-functional approach to farm policy has emerged. “Multifunctional in that it gives priority to long-run food security by addressing the multiple ecological, social, and economic challenges of agricultural sustainability,” he said. The farmers involved in this movement may call their farms organic, ecological, biological, holistic, or biodynamic.
    Olson echoed the same theme as Ikerd during his address to members Tuesday night. “Commodity prices should not follow the price of oil,” Olson said. Farmers need to regain control of our futures in this country, he said.
    “We have to produce a top-quality product,” Olson said. Standards such as Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) and European Union (EU) requirements are good, Olson said. “But, we need to get paid for what we produce.”
    Farmers are continuing to lose independence. And as rural America continues to lose farmers, we lose our communities, schools and rural businesses, he said.
    National Farmers Organization is all about solutions and opportunities. The power in rural America is farm production. “National Farmers has long recognized the value of growth management,” he said. We need every farmer out there on the land producing for a price,” Olson said.
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National Farmers Organization Policy Approved by Members
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers Organization policy approved by members

    EAST PEORIA ILL., Jan. 27, 2016 —National Farmers Organization members voted in support of several policy planks in East Peoria, Ill. Tuesday.
    In the area of trade agreements, members believe they must adequately address labor and environmental issues, county-of origin labeling, dispute resolutions and currency fluctuations.
    Proper reporting of agriculture import and export data and food safety standards are also important to NFO members. For those reasons, members oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and urge Congress to also oppose TPP when it comes up for a vote.
     Other policy planks include:
         •   Establishment of a broadly based competitive price system as the base price for milk
         •   Opposes export of domestic crude oil in order to maintain America’s energy independence
         •   Opposes using eminent domain power by any entity without adequate compensation for both landowners and tenants
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