Last night in LaVista, Nebraska

National Farmers Union (NFU) opened its 110th Anniversary Convention last night. More than 500 Farmers Union members from across the country met at the LaVista Conference Center in LaVista, Neb., for the four-day event. This year’s convention theme is New Horizons for Agriculture.

“This is a critical year for agriculture as we work to complete the 2012 Farm Bill,” said Roger Johnson, president of National Farmers Union (pictured). “We must continue working to ensure that the next farm bill benefits family farmers and ranchers. We know it will be challenging to get everything that we need in this budget environment. That is why NFU worked with the University of Tennessee to study a Market-Driven Inventory System, which will provide farmers and ranchers with income stability and decrease the cost of the farm program to the federal government.”

Farmers Union presented Howard Buffett with a check for $55,193 for Feeding America. Last year, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation pledged to match every dollar donated by Farmers Union members to Feeding America, up to $50,000.

U.S. Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN) also addressed Farmers Union members and discussed what he believed would happen this year with the farm bill and dairy policy. He described a new dairy policy that would take the volatility out of the dairy market and provide a safety net for small dairies.

Yesterday was the first of a four-day convention for NFU. Over the next few days, Farmers Union members will hear from speakers, go on agricultural tours, and vote on NFU policy for the coming year.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership. RuralVotes has had the privilege of supporting the work done in all six New England states by Executive Director Annie Cheatham and the governing board of New England Farmers Union. Whatever state you’re from, we encourage you to check in with your local Farmers Union chapter.  Be part of the team and lend your local voice at the national table!

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