[Login] You are not logged in.
Office Locator   800.247.2110
National Farmers - About Us
National Farmers Press Room 2019 Archives » 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
No to RFS Small Refinery Exemptions
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 Says No to RFS Small Refinery Exemptions

     (AMES, Iowa) August 5, 2019 — National Farmers Organization says the country’s farmers deserve better when it comes to renewable volume obligations under the 2020 proposed Renewable Fuel Standards.
     “The EPA hosted a listening session July 31 on RFS standards, and we hope they took note of what ag leaders had to say about renewable volume obligations,” said National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul. “We are categorically opposed to the issuing of any waivers in the Renewable Fuels Standards, including all small refinery exemptions.”
     Since 2018, the EPA has granted 53 exemptions totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standards program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector.
     “Grain producers are battered from trade wars, historically low grain prices and weather difficulties this year; the government needs to step in and help by increasing renewable volume obligations and eliminating small refinery exemptions,” said Paul.
     Paul said he agrees with National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson who said while farm country struggles, the oil industry continues to thrive, with many companies posting multi-billion-dollar profits year after year. National Farmers Organization agrees that it is unconscionable that the administration would funnel money away from family farms and into the pockets of large oil corporations.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
end

New Policy to Save Small Dairy Farms
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 Says U.S. Needs New Policy for Saving Smaller Dairy Farms

     (AMES, Iowa) July 29, 2019 — National Farmers Organization says the country needs a new policy to protect small dairy farms, struggling with income nearly one-half of what it was five years ago. The organization recommends a special program targeted to smaller-sized dairies, while all dairymen would operate under one federal order marketing system.
     “American milk drinkers and dairy product fans may not realize there has been a shocking decline in the number of smaller dairy farms the past five years, while very large dairies are growing,” said National Farmers Milk Sales Director Dick Bylsma. During that five-year period, the industry lost 35 percent of dairies milking fewer than 200 cows. “This loss goes beyond individual farms, though; studies indicate dairy farms deliver much-needed dollars to rural economies, enhance food security and better protect the environment than larger farms do.”
     National Farmers recommends a program that establishes a national Federal Milk Marketing Order with a $4.00 per hundredweight price adjustor for up to one million pounds of monthly production for every dairy farm in the country. “My previous experience as an auditor for the Federal Milk Market Order system tells me that the same operations that lead to orderly marketing among dairy product classes can also be used to stabilize opportunities for dairy farmers,” Bylsma said.
     USDA data show operating costs are higher for smaller farms than for very large dairies. Recognizing those cost differences is key to any policy that provides opportunities for dairy farms of all sizes.
     The National Farmers approach delivers advantages to all farmers. “There are no quotas,” says Bylsma. Every farm, large and small, is free to operate as they see fit in response to price signals sent by the program. As an added bonus, the program does not increase costs for consumers or taxpayers.
     For the program to work properly, one national milk marketing order in which all dairy farmers would be required to participate, would be established. Currently, the Federal Milk Marketing Order system does not cover all areas of the United States. The federal milk marketing orders have been in place since the 1930s and provide orderly milk marketing, equity in price bargaining and ensure an adequate supply of high-quality milk.
     De-pooling would no longer be allowed. “These changes to the FMMO system will bring fairness and more orderly marketing in many ways,” says Bylsma. “The most important, by far, is the way leveling the production-cost playing field will preserve opportunities for one of our greatest national treasures—the smaller dairy farm.”
     In the last five decades, America has lost 94 percent of its smaller dairy farms, falling from 670,000 dairy farms in 1970 to fewer than 40,000 in 2019.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
end

National Farmers Urges Passing USMCA, Lifting Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers Urges Passing USMCA, Lifting Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

     (AMES, Iowa) May 2, 2019 — National Farmers Organization says USMCA must be passed soon so financially beleaguered farmers—battered by concentration, tariffs and trade uncertainty—will have a chance at better prices. In the past four years, American dairy producers have experienced a milk price decline of nearly 50 percent. Just last year, 2,800 dairy farmers went out of business.
     “Canada and Mexico are not expected to vote on USMCA unless America lifts steel and aluminum tariffs,” said National Farmers Legislative Coordinator Gene Paul. “I know there are a lot of famers who support eliminating the tariffs and moving forward with our new trade agreement with our trading partners.”
     Earlier this year, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the House Ways and Means Committee, failing to pass USMCA this year would damage the credibility of America’s global trade agenda, particularly the efforts to secure a deal with China.
     The 2015 Trade Promotion Authority Act outlines trade agreements’ procedures, and the next step is for the Trump administration to submit final text of the implementing legislation to Congress. By law that is required to occur 30 days before the bill to ratify USMCA is introduced in both chambers of Congress. “So, this is a process that requires several important steps,” Paul said.
     Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been involved in the passage of every U.S. free-trade agreement, and said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal April 29, is never an easy task. He also said in the piece, it’s time for tariffs to go.
     The U.S. International Trade Commission’s April 19 report said U.S. food and agricultural exports would increase by $2.2 billion, or 1.1 percent, with full implementation of the new tri-lateral trade agreement known as USMCA.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
end

FarmStarts Workshop April 16
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

Farmers will glean production, market tips from Ashland FarmStarts seminar

     (AMES, Iowa) April 4, 2019—To equip beginning farmers with the latest production, business and marketing knowledge for organic grain and dairy operations, National Farmers, on April 16, will host its free FarmStarts seminar in Ashland, Wisconsin, at Northland College.
     Organic agriculture and the farm-to-table buzz pique the interest of producers today, and those are among the FarmStarts educational topics. These are the FarmStarts ag learning presentations:
     — Organic Land Certification, David Hettenbach, certification specialist, Nature’s International Certification Services.
     — Organic Farming Tips and Perspectives, John Tepoel, organic dairy and grain producer.
     — Organic Crop Insurance, Corey Ertl, crop insurance agent, National Farmers Crop Insurance.
     — Financial Planning and Management for Organic Grain Production, Dale Nordquist, associate director, Center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota.
     — The Farm to Table Connection, Todd Rothe, manager, Hulings Rice Food Center, Northland College.
     — How to Market Organic Grains, Mike Schulist, organic grain marketer, NForganics.
     — Introduction to Organic Farmers Agency for Relationship Marketing, John Bobbe, executive director, OFARM.
     Producers can register online at nationalfarmers.com/farmstarts. The 9 a.m. April 16 FarmStarts seminar is part of a 36-meeting series in 11 states spearheaded by National Farmers, and partially funded by USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The Ashland, Wisconsin, FarmStarts workshop will be hosted at Northland College, 1411 Ellis Ave. The workshop will be held at the Ponzio Campus Center in the Alvord Theatre and lunch is provided.
     “National Farmers has always focused on helping farmers, and with FarmStarts seminars, we give newer producers key information they need as they launch into or continue in farming,” said FarmStarts Project Director Dave Reed. “Organic agriculture can offer beginning producers a way to cash flow without a large number of acres.”
     The educational day is designed for newer producers, who’ve been farming less than 10 years, or more precisely have filed fewer than 10 Schedule F tax forms. They can receive a $200 stipend to cover travel costs, and expenses incurred while being off the farm for the day. Farmers of any experience level are welcome and beginning farmers may want to attend with those who they partner with in agriculture. Additionally, FarmStarts is relevant for farmers who are interested in learning more about transitioning from conventional to organic production. Producers with questions about the FarmStarts event may also call 515.598.4670.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations, we help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
end

Dairy Reform Meetings
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

Farm groups collaborate on proposals to address dairy crisis at upcoming Dairy Together events

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI – Farm organizations across the country are banding together to advocate on several proposals to stabilize dairy prices and slow the loss of family farms. The Dairy Together Road Show will educate dairy farmers and industry stakeholders about several potential pathways toward market stabilization.

The events are being organized by the National Farmers Organization and Farmers Union organizations from Wisconsin, New England, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, California, and the Rocky Mountain region, with support from the National Farmers Union and Holstein Association USA.

“To effect any meaningful change, it’s going to take a strong coalition of farm groups and other industry stakeholders,” said Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden. “We’re pulling together farm organizations, agricultural lenders, equipment dealers, cooperative leaders and all who are being impacted by the current dairy crisis. This is a collaborative effort aimed at providing relief to struggling dairy farmers – and that relief can’t come soon enough.”

The groups will present research on plans that consider federal milk order system reform via a structured dairy pricing program as well as avenues of oversupply management through an updated version of the Dairy Market Stabilization Program that was considered in the lead-up to the 2014 Farm Bill. Recognizing the urgency of the situation dairy farmers are facing, they also plan to unveil plans for short-term emergency relief.

Farm Income Analysis
Last winter, WFU enlisted dairy economists Mark Stephenson from the University of Wisconsin and Chuck Nicholson from Cornell to conduct an Analysis of Selected Dairy Programs to Reduce Volatility in Milk Prices and Farm Income. The Roadshow will share the researchers’ data on several potential programs’ impacts on net farm operating income, farm numbers, domestic demand and cost to the government versus the current Margin Protection Program.

“The bottom line on what we found was generally pretty positive in terms of thinking of what these programs could do,” Nicholson said. “We saw reduced variation in prices and also some price enhancement, increased net farm operating incomes, reduction in the rate of farm exits across farms of all sizes, and a reduction in government expenditures on dairy programs.”

A Structured Dairy Pricing Program
USDA data shows that production costs are higher for family-sized dairies than for very large dairies. To overcome this cost imbalance, National Farmers Organization proposes modifying the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) by recognizing the differences in costs to produce milk on differing farm sizes. The policy would change the way money pooled on the FMMO would be distributed, allocating funds to dairy farmers at two tiers based on milk marketing volume.

“The marketing orders were originally created in the 1930s to level the dairy farmer playing field and improve prices paid to producers. But now, the order system no longer achieves its original goals.” said National Farmers Organization Dairy Sales Director Dick Bylsma. “If milk marketing orders can recognize differing product values, it can also recognize different production costs on various farm sizes.”

Collaborating for Change
"Given the dire state of the U.S. dairy economy, it is crucial that dairy farmers bring along processors and consumers to find workable solutions to this crisis, said National Farmers Union Vice President Patty Edelburg. “Structural change can only be accomplished with a strong set of supporters. We’re excited to expand this campaign to reach a broader group of stakeholders and better understand the unique needs of dairy farmers in different regions."

The family farm organizations stressed that with many more family farms on the brink of closure, now is the time to enact bold solutions to halt the loss of dairy farms.

"We are focused on policy changes that align with our organizations' core values of family farming, fair economic policies, and thriving rural communities," Von Ruden said. "We're looking beyond milk labeling, increasing exports, and dairy insurance plans to actual long-term solutions."

Sign up for updates, register for events, view a video analysis of the dairy research, and learn more at www.dairytogether.com.

Locations will include:

NORTHEAST
Cortland, New York: March 28, 11am-2pm, New York State Grange Building, 100 Grange Place. Includes lunch. RSVP at DairyTogether.com, or by calling the NFO Cortland office at 844-378-4169 or local 607-543-4169.

Brattleboro, Vermont: April 3rd, 11am-2pm, Holstein Association USA Headquarters, Brattleboro, VT. Includes lunch. RSVP at DairyTogether.com, or by calling Roger Noonan, New England Farmers Union, 603-487-2540. Handicapped parking available at the meeting location: 1 Holstein Pl. All others can park in the nearby municipal parking center: 77 Flat Street.

WISCONSIN
Oshkosh, Wisconsin: March 27, 10am-noon, WPS Farm Show, EAA Grounds (Hospitality Room inside Hangar A), 1001 Waukau Ave. Free for WPS Farm Show attendees but you must pay $3 per vehicle to park.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin: April 2, 11am-2pm, 29 Pines, 5872 33rd Ave. Includes lunch.
Platteville, Wisconsin: April 4, 12-2:30pm, UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm, 29200 College Farm Rd. Includes lunch.
RSVP for the Wisconsin event of your choosing at dairytogether.com, or by calling WFU at 715-723-5561.

MICHIGAN
St. Johns, Michigan: April 9, 10:30am-2:30pm, Agroliquid Headquarters, 3055 M-21. Includes lunch. RSVP at dairytogether.com or to Jackie McAlvey at 989-285-2547.

MINNESOTA
Greenwald, Minnesota: April 16, 10am-12pm, Greenwald Pub, 310 1st Ave. N. Lunch to follow. RSVP at dairytogether.com or to Bruce Miller at 651-288-4064.

CALIFORNIA
Modesto, California: April 29, 12-2:30pm, Stanislaus County Agricultural Center, 3022 Service Rd. RSVP at www.DairyTogether.com or by calling Lynne McBride at 925-385-0217.

NEW MEXICO
Clovis, New Mexico: May 2, 11am-2pm, Curry County Extension Building, 1900 East Brady Avenue. Includes lunch. RSVP at DairyTogether.com, or to Nick Levendofsky at 303-283-3528.
end

Reform Milk Marketing Orders
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers Urges Federal Milk Market Order Reform

     (AMES, Iowa) March 20, 2019 —At National Farmers annual convention in West Des Moines, Iowa last week, dairy leaders focused on historic low milk prices and urged overhauling America’s Federal Milk Marketing Orders.
     “I believe it’s time to consider modifying the Federal Milk Marketing Order system to properly address the milk price crisis,” said National Farmers Milk Sales Director Dick Bylsma. The marketing orders were originally created in the 1930s to level the dairy farmer playing field and improve prices paid to producers. “But now, the order system no longer achieves its original goals,” Bylsma said.
     National Farmers two-tier pricing proposal would require all milk nationally to be pooled together into a single marketing order, and every producer would receive a $4 per hundredweight premium on the first 1 million pounds marketed each month. The remainder of the money in the pool would be allocated to producers based on milk marketing volume.
     “This plan evens the playing field, which would fulfill the original intent of the Federal Milk Marketing Orders,” Bylsma said.
     The current dairy price situation has also prompted National Farmers Organization, Wisconsin National Farmers Union— along with several other state National Farmers Union chapters— and Holstein Association USA to launch an initiative to delve into solutions, called the Dairy Together Roadshow, which is also intended to unite family farmers and rural community members in seeking and creating a way to help smaller producers.
     The current dairy price crisis, now in its fourth year, affects all dairy farmers of every scale. However, the financial pressure of the dairy crisis is elevated for smaller farms, which don’t have the purchasing power of larger operations, or other advantages scale provides.
     In the last five decades, America has lost 94 percent of its family size dairy farms, falling from 670,000 dairy farms in 1970 to less than 40,000 in 2019.
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
end

Grandin Talks Stockmanship
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

Temple Grandin Talks Stockmanship, Genetic Selection at National Farmers’ Convene ’19 Cattle Care and Contracting Today Workshop

(WEST DES MOINES, Iowa) March 14, 2019—National Farmers members from around the country on March 12 experienced more than a brush with fame when internationally recognized cattle expert Dr. Temple Grandin talked stockmanship and genetics at the organization’s Cattle Care and Contracting Today workshop at Convene ’19.

National Farmers members formed lines around Grandin’s book table, enjoying the presence of the animal agriculture (and autism awareness) celebrity. Grandin greeted members and workshop attendees at National Farmers Convene ’19, and autographed books for farmers and ranchers from around the country. The book table was stacked with titles such as “Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working with Farm Animals,” “Animals in Translation,” “Humane Livestock Handling,” “Livestock Handling and Transport,” and many titles related to her work and perspectives about autism and autism awareness, the brain and how people think.

When it comes to people running a cattle operation, variety is an ingredient for success. “Different kinds of minds complement each other. So, you have a good operations person to run your feed yard and somebody good with the futures market to handle that part of it,” she said.

In Grandin’s straightforward presentation style, she reminded members and workshop attendees about staying calm around cattle, watching vigilantly, and, recognizing pooping as a measurement of fear in cattle. It’s called defecation scoring. The bathroom matter wasn’t the center of Grandin’s talk, but, it is a sign of fear, along with a cow’s head being up with alert ears, ears back, tail switching and white eyes. Watching for all of these signs, and responding with a calm demeanor makes a smoother cattle handling process, because it takes 20 to 30 minutes to calm an agitated bovine.

“Calm animals are easier to handle,” Grandin said. “One of the real bright spots the last few years is, stockmanship’s improved.” All the work the cattle associations have done for stockmanship training is helping. “People are really starting to get serious about it,” Grandin said.

When it comes to cattle flow in chutes and through a facility, the animals are easily distracted, whether it’s a car parked too close, a paper cup on the ground, a jacket on a fence or a loose chain hanging down. “Animals will show you what they don’t like in your facility,” Grandin said. “They’ll come right up and stop.”

The direction a facility faces matters, too. Cattle don’t want to be herded into the sun if it’s hitting them in their eyes. “Well you all know how horrible it is to be out on the highway and go straight into the sun. Get down in your facility and see what your animals are seeing,” she said. She said non-slip flooring is essential, because animals panic when they slip.

Good handling also involves more walking around on the part of the handlers, and moving cattle in small groups. Respecting cattle’s flight zone, or basically, their personal space, is also important when considering how many head to put into a pen, or moving in a pen or elsewhere with the animals. The flight zone is the minimum space an animal tries to keep between itself and anything it thinks is a threat.

Grandin reviewed aspects of cattle barns, facilities and loading areas that worked well, and did not, and said her designs are based on two overall concepts. She has designs that are very simple and inexpensive to put in place, which require more skilled stockmanship. Other designs are not as simple, and she may be able to train someone in 30 minutes how to move animals through them, because it requires a lower level of stockmanship skills. Those designs are typically more of a financial investment.

Grandin pointed out that for 20 years, the cattle industry has been selecting genetics for temperament, and listed the core emotions of bovine.
—Fear, primitive emotion for survival, as in cattle acting agitated in a chute
—Rage, anger
—Panic, separation anxiety, when a calf is separated from its mother
—Seeking, approach novelty, grazing interest differences in cattle
—Additional emotions, lust, caring, as in a mother licking a calf, play

There is a point where you can over-select for temperament, Grandin said. It can result in a sacrifice of other good qualities. “You want animals that will mother. You want animals that will get out and graze. “There is a basic principle in genetics that when you over-select for a trait, you wreck your animal. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s a behavior trait, if it’s a production trait or a performance trait, like in a race horse. Select for run, run, run, then they’re breaking their legs….We’ve got to start looking at a more balanced approach on a lot of genetic selection and that fortunately is starting to be done now.”

If you want to understand animals, Grandin said, think visually and not with words. “It’s a sensory-based world, not a word-based world,” she said.
end

Convention Policy Planks
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 members address dairy prices, country-of-origin labeling, grain reserve in policy planks

     WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (March 14, 2019)—National Farmers members from across the U.S. on March 12 agreed on farm policy planks about dairy structure management and pricing, a farmer-owned grain reserve, reinstatement of GIPSA rules and country of origin labeling at the organization’s 2019 annual meeting in West Des Moines, Iowa.
     National Farmers 2019 Agriculture Policy Resolutions include the following:
—For national security purposes, National Farmers Organization supports re-enactment of a farmer-owned grain reserve program with the following provisions: The reserve should be isolated from the market; it is the supply of last resort; and, reserves should be released only at 120 percent of the above proposed loan rates.
—Reinstate the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards GIPSA rules and mandatory funding. The Farmer Fair Practices Rule would give individual farmers protection against damages caused by anticompetitive actions of buyers.
—Reinstate mandatory Country of Origin Labeling. Mandatory COOL must be included in all trade agreements so U.S. producers can compete against the growing tide of undifferentiated products imported into their domestic market.
—Put in place a structure management program in dairy that uses pricing levels to maintain family dairy operations.
—A USDA study shows a cost of production range of $4.21 among dairy farms of all sizes, family-size dairies on the upper end and large dairies on the lower end of the scale. To level the playing field, National Farmers urges USDA to implement an emergency plan which makes monthly payments based on the level of production for each participating farm. The payment would be equal to the Operating Cost Imbalance shown in the study.
     National Farmers is a conventional and organic commodity marketing organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
end

Olson's Convention Highlights
National Farmers Organization
800-247-2110 or e-mail:
Press Release

Contact: Perry Garner, communications director

515.598.4674
528 Billy Sunday Rd, Ames, Iowa  50010

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

National Farmers President Highlights Farm Price Trends, Marketing Solutions

     WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (March 13, 2019)—During his address March 12, National Farmers President Paul Olson at National Farmers Convene ’19 in West Des Moines, Iowa, he highlighted commodity price volatility, dairy member growth in the Northeast and National Farmers consistent yearly cattle sales increases.
     Olson compared and contrasted commodity prices during the past eight years, citing challenges posed by volatility, and low dairy and grain commodity prices right now. But prices for cash corn were $5.32 in March 2011, and $24 for milk in June 2014. Further, even with relatively high corn prices in 2012, cattle producers were making good money, Olson said.
     Olson highlighted dairy economic conditions right now, and said, “I’m very concerned about the dairy industry,” Olson said. However, he listed National Farmers’ partnerships with dairy co-ops and other ag organizations concerned about the dairy economy, such as Wisconsin Farmers Union. Interest in National Farmers’ two-tier pricing proposal and emergency Family Dairy Farm Relief Act is increasing, Olson said. (See nationalfarmers.com for dairy pricing proposals.)
     In conventional dairy, producers are looking for marketing choices, Olson said. He cited a partnership with a dairy co-op in the Northeast, as an example of adding dairy farms to National Farmers MaximumMarketing milk program.
     Olson recognized the volume growth focus of leadership in the National Farmers Nexus Ag Marketing cattle risk management programs, and the multi-year cattle number increases in the program. If you’re going to feed cattle today, that’s how to market, Olson said. “Without you our members, this couldn’t happen,” Olson told producers at the evening event.
     Farmers need to focus on price as much as on production quantity, Olson said.
     National Farmers is a conventional and organic commodity marketing organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
end

Ellinghuysen Talks Meat Trends
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

Ellinghuysen Talks Meat Industry Trends at National Farmers Convene ’19

     (AMES, Iowa) March 13, 2019—National Farmers members from across the U.S. listened to Richard Ellinghuysen, a Senior Vice President of Producers Livestock Marketing Association March 12 at Convene ’19. He said he is very bullish on America’s pork and beef industry and the producers who grow the country’s outstanding meat products, despite world-wide industry challenges and consumer headwinds.
     Ellinghuysen outlined the challenges facing producers, including the drumbeat of alternative proteins and environmental issues. He said he produces a website each business day called meatfyi.com and as a part of his daily work process, he reviews hundreds of headlines relating to agriculture daily. He emphasized that nearly every day he is seeing articles about fake meat, and with increasing frequency.
     He said challenges producers face include competition from startups who purport to produce meat from air and electricity, and efforts to grow whole muscle steak in a lab using 3D biological printing techniques. He warned so-called fake meats may gain further inroads into grocery stores and fast food chains.
     Ellinghuysen pointed out that trade is no longer a nice-to-have, but is a must-have for producers. He said international market risk factors including tariffs, disease and currency issues will continue well into the future.
     A record 222 pounds of meat was consumed per capita in the U.S. in 2018. With nearly 2 billion new mouths to feed around the world in coming years, producers should be reassured by worldwide consumption figures and future population projections.
     He also urged cattlemen to protect their cashflow, manage market price risks and have nerves of steel about conditions beyond their control.
     National Farmers is a conventional and organic commodity marketing organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
end

Convene ’19 Set for March 11-13
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

Temple Grandin Headlines National Farmers Convention ’19 in West Des Moines, Iowa March 11-13

     (AMES, Iowa) Feb. 26, 2019—National Farmers members from across the U.S. will convene at the annual meeting March 11-13 in West Des Moines, Iowa, hearing from agricultural experts about the farm economy, livestock contracting and care trends, farm policy, the dairy price crisis, ag risk management and marketing.
     National Farmers’ Convene ’19 in West Des Moines, Iowa, kicks off Monday, March 11, at 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel. National board leaders will address members, and Dr. Alejandro Plastina will discuss the farm financial situation of Midwestern farms. The day will end with remarks from National Farmers Vice President Paul Riniker, Greeley, Iowa.
     March 12, Tuesday, brings a full slate of agricultural topics, with National Farmers business starting the day at 9 a.m. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will welcome members and address agriculture right now. Richard Ellinghuysen, vice president, Producers Livestock Marketing Association, addresses what’s ahead for the livestock industry at 10:45 and Temple Grandin, world renowned for her cattle facility design will speak at 1 p.m. JBS USA Director of Sustainability Kim Stackhouse talks at 2 p.m.
     The March 12 slate of events also includes addressing farm policy concerns, which will be covered by Gene Paul, National Farmers legislative analyst. President Paul Olson addresses the convention body at an evening dessert reception. The Cattle Care and Contracting Today seminar, part of the day’s events, features two National Farmers cattle marketing advisors presenting the latest approach to enhancing beef profits in 2019.
     Wednesday, March 13 brings Commodity Day and a slate of presenters covering dairy, grain and livestock initiatives and accomplishments from and by National Farmers. Brad Rach, dairy director, will lead the day’s segment for milk producers, talking about structure management and National Farmers request for emergency relief for dairy producers.
     Pat Lampert, livestock director of operations, will spearhead the presentation centering around National Farmers and Nexus cattle marketing and risk management. Matt Brandyberry, grain marketing specialist, headlines the presentation about Grain Marketing Plus, with NForganics grain being led by Tim Boortz, program manager and Mike Schulist, organic grain marketing specialist. They’ll cover a market downtrend in the organic grain sector and what producers can do.
     At the end of the day March 13, the Institute for Rural America hosts a benefit auction, which includes baskets that represent National Farmers member states and are filled with products associated with it. An evening dance begins at 7:30 p.m., with the band Passion returning to entertain members.
     Register for convention at nationalfarmers.com. Scroll down to the Convene ’19 logo and get more meeting details, hotel information and more. The newly remodeled Sheraton Hotel is the official event location. Members can call 800.325.3535 and make your reservations at the Sheraton today. Attendees should mention National Farmers for the special $119 room rate.
     A National Farmers FarmStarts free beginning farmer and organic farming workshop coincides with day one of the National Farmers’ national convention, March 11. Producers may find more information about FarmStarts at nationalfarmers.com/farmstarts.
     National Farmers is a conventional and organic commodity marketing organization for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
end

Family Dairy Relief Act
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 proposes Family Dairy Farm Relief Act

     (AMES, Iowa) Feb. 25, 2019 —National Farmers, which markets milk for dairy producers, is proposing the Family Dairy Farm Relief Act, creating an emergency program aimed at bridging the $4.21 per hundredweight difference in operating costs between the smallest of family-size farms, those milking 50 cows, and larger operations.
     The current dairy price crisis, now in its fourth year, affects all dairy farmers of every scale. However, the financial pressure of the dairy price crisis is increased for smaller farms, which don’t have the purchasing power of larger operations, or other advantages scale provides. “While we appreciate past efforts by Congress to help dairy farmers, opportunities for family-size farmers requires special programs now,” said National Farmers President Paul Olson.
     National Farmers is seeking congressional support and sponsors for proposed legislation that would level the economic playing field for family-size farms. “The Family Dairy Farm Relief Act would create a short-term bridge program, as the industry moves to a more market-centered solution not requiring federal funds,” Olson said. “We’ve developed this proposal based on the proven program established in the state of Maine.”
     In 2004, the state of Maine acted to protect its family-size dairy farms with a similar project and the Maine Dairy Relief Program stabilized Maine’s dairy farm sector. National Farmers modeled its proposal and bill after Maine’s effort, shown to be effective by a 2010 study by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
     For farms with a 50-99 head milking herd, the cost of production disparity is $3.18 per cwt., for those with 100-199 head, the difference is $2.62 per cwt., and 200-499, $2.32 per cwt. Under the Family Dairy Farm Relief Act, smaller farms would receive higher payments per cwt., but those operations have less milk to compensate for price-wise. “As milking herd size increases, more pounds of milk would be covered in the resulting program, but the payment for each hundred pounds of milk is less,” said Dick Bylsma, National Farmers dairy marketing director. “All but the very largest of farms is included in the emergency funding, because the price crisis is negatively impacting producers of every scale.”
     From 2000-2017, the U.S. lost 42 percent of farms with 100-199 dairy cows, 60 percent with 50-99 cows and 75 percent with fewer than 50 cows in their milking herds. And since 2012, the number of farms with 2,000 cows or more has grown by nearly 20 percent, according to Dr. Pete Vitaliano, National Milk Producer Federation economist.
     Long-term, National Farmers has proposed market-based structure management in the dairy industry, but time is critical for producers. For example, in Wisconsin alone hundreds of farms shut down in 2018. Olson said, “Many family dairy farmers can’t wait until a longer-term program can be put in place. National Farmers has always represented family farmers, and this dairy concern puts undue pressure on farmers and the rural economy. We need an emergency relief program, the Family Dairy Farm Relief Act, which can be put in place relatively quickly.”
     National Farmers markets milk, livestock and crops for thousands of American agricultural producers. We offer six decades of experience representing farmers and ranchers, and grouping production from many ag operations. We help producers market together. National Farmers’ experienced marketing professionals negotiate on conventional and certified organic farmers’ behalf in cash and contract sales, establishing commodity sales terms with the farmers’ interests in mind.
     National Farmers also provides access to today’s sophisticated risk management tools for commodities. We guide producers of many operation sizes through the process of using forward contracts, and put and call options. We also represent farmers and ranchers with government regulatory agencies and departments to help provide equity in policy and agricultural industry transactions. For more information about National Farmers, visit nationalfarmers.com or call 800.247.2110.
end