FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (September 18, 2015) – Following three days of meetings with U.S. Department of Agriculture leaders, key White House staff and nearly every Congressional and Senatorial official on Capitol Hill, the 275 Farmers Union members participating in the organization’s annual fall fly-in are returning home today.
“For decades upon decades, Farmers Union members have made an annual migration to Washington to make their case for smarter, fairer farm policies,” said Johnson. “The only major change to this event in the last fifty years is the preferred mode of transportation to get here,” he said. “The enthusiasm, passion and commitment are as strong today as they have ever been.”
While here, fly-in participants conducted hundreds of targeted meetings with members of Congress, focusing on: gathering support behind the Senate bill supporting voluntary Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL); opposing any legislative changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while urging Congress to reject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed proposal for 2014-2016 ethanol blending targets because they are well below the statutory limits; urging Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to restore full trade and tourism with Cuba, and urging support of a Senate Agriculture Appropriations Amendment that requires a comprehensive risk assessment plan be in place before resuming trade with parts of Argentina and Brazil that have a history of Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks.
Fly-in participants also presented the organization’s highest honor, the Golden Triangle Award, to a bipartisan group of 36 senators and representatives who have demonstrated leadership on issues relevant to America’s family farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Members accepted the awards at a reception on Thursday night at the Stewart Mott House in Washington, D.C.
“Year after year, family farmers and ranchers show that they are not only ready to feed the world, but are also willing to take the time from their jobs in the middle of harvest and meet with their elected officials to ensure that smart farm policies are in place for their children and communities,” said Johnson. “Whether it’s keeping food labeling on the books, reducing our dependence on foreign oil through greener substitutes, or fighting for smarter trade policies that that seek trade deficit reduction as a primary goal, Farmers Union members come to Washington year after year and make a difference,” he said.
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.