Wichita,, Kansas hosted an Indiana delegation to the National Farmers Union’s 113th annual convention this week, where more than 480 delegates from across the nation joined to set out a grassroots policy for the year ahead.The four-day event gave family farmers, ranchers and fishermen from as far afield as Hawaii, the opportunity to shape the organization’s national policy for the year, discuss issues that affect farmers, attend breakout sessions and launch new initiatives in member states. “The convention theme, ‘Driving the Future of Agriculture,’ aptly describes what happened here this week,” said Indiana Farmers Union President Jim Benham.
“NFU members not only heard from key policy makers, but were personally involved in shaping future policy for American agriculture that will make family farmers and ranchers more successful while they continue to be the best stewards of our nation’s lands,” Benham added.
Highlights of the convention included a keynote address from United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Dr. Temple Grandin, whose movie was screened for participants eager to see it.
But the heart and soul of this convention, like every convention, were the nuts and bolts of policy-making, whereby NFU delegates from across this great nation debate and vote on driving the future of agriculture. “As always, delegates took the policy discussion and adoption process very seriously, considering the needs of family farmers and ranchers and planning the best path forward for them and the future of agriculture in Illinois and America,” said Benham.
Roger Johnson, NFU president, and Donn Teske, Kansas Farmers Union president and NFU vice president, will both remain in their respective offices until their terms expire in 2016.
Delegates to the convention adopted 6 special orders:
* Family Farming and Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL)
* Family Farming and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
* Family Farming and Transparency in Livestock Markets
* Family Farming and Cotton in the 2014 Farm Bill
* Family Farming and Trade Policy
* Family Farming and Animal Disease Protection and Research.
Benham congratulated and thanked Indiana Farmers Union members for their hard work throughout 2014 and their efforts in promoting family agriculture in Indiana.