Pennsylvania Plays Instrumental Role in Policy Adoption at National Farmers Union Annual Convention

pennsylvaniaHARRISBURG, PA (March 7, 2013) – The Pennsylvania Farmers Union (PFU) was represented at the National Farmers Union (NFU) 111th Anniversary Convention by board president, Kim Miller, and executive director, Hannah Smith-Brubaker (delegate). The convention adjourned Tuesday afternoon in Springfield, MA, where the four-day event concluded with the delegates considering and adopting the organization’s policy for the next year.

“I left impressed with both the grassroots nature of policy formation and the genuine goodwill and support shown by the rest of the country toward Pennsylvania,” said President Miller.

Smith-Brubaker brought a motion to the floor to ensure conservation compliance remains a requirement for federal crop insurance premium subsidy eligibility. The motion carried with overwhelming support from other states which echoed both a commitment to conservation as a major component of sustaining family farming and for honoring the important partnerships we have with the conservation organizations that support the sustainable production of food, fiber, feed and fuel.

“Farmers Union is truly a grassroots organization, and our policy adoption process is an example of the value of Americans’ right to free speech,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The policy adopted by the delegates today is what will guide the advocacy work of our organization for the next year.”

Delegates adopted policy favoring comprehensive reform of immigration laws in relation to agricultural workers. The body renewed its support for affordable healthcare, with an emphasis on disease prevention and access to nutritionally sound foods with special attention paid to access to raw milk and raw milk products. Policy was put in place to address the challenges that small boat fishermen and women face. While Farmers Union holds close to its chest the importance of rural communities, in appreciation of the growth of urban farmers, “rural” has been replaced by “local” in all relevant policy statements.

Several special orders of business were adopted by the body, placing an emphasis on a five-year farm bill being passed this year, as well as special orders dealing with ongoing challenges to dairy farmers and the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, among others.

Pennsylvania Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and local communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

Click here to view the policy manual as adopted by the delegates.

Click here to view the special orders of business.

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