NFU kicks off 117th Anniversary Convention in Bellevue, Wash.
March 4, 2019
BELLEVUE, Wash. — National Farmers Union officially convened its 117th Anniversary Convention this afternoon in Bellevue, Wash., to celebrate American farm families and set the organization's policy for the coming year. More than 460 Farmers Union members from across the country are gathered for the annual event, which runs through March 5.
"NFU is a grassroots, family farmer-led organization, and this structure is best embodied at our annual convention. The convention is an opportunity to celebrate what makes Farmers Union truly unique – and that is family farmers of all types, sizes, and backgrounds banding together to make sure they all can enjoy the American dream," said NFU President Roger Johnson.
Over the next three days, attendees will engage with industry experts, policymakers, thought leaders and fellow farmers on topics of importance to modern family farm agriculture. Top of mind for most attendees and speakers are the state of the farm economy, international trade disruptions, extreme consolidation in the agricultural sector, climate change and sustainability, and the success of the next generation of family farmers.
The information learned will provide context for the organization's annual line-by-line policy review by Farmers Union delegates in the final days of the convention. "Our grassroots policy adoption process allows Farmers Union members to decide the direction of the organization and the policy we bring to the table in Washington, D.C.," Johnson explained.
"This year's policy deliberations will be especially important, as family farmers and ranchers face a difficult farm economy, an increasingly volatile climate, and extreme consolidation in agricultural marketplaces, among the normal unpredictability that they deal with on a day-to-day basis," Johnson added. "The policies they adopt will carry significant weight in the nation's capital, as they represent the collective will of America's farm and ranch families."
Keynote remarks at this year's convention will be delivered by Andrew Winston, a globally recognized expert on helping businesses thrive and create a more sustainable world, and Bill Northey, USDA's Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. Johnson will deliver his annual State of the Farmers Union speech here tonight at the convention opening banquet.
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The convention will feature a panel on agriculture trade under President Trump, which will examine the president's goals, his tactics, and the repercussions of current trade disruptions. Johnson will moderate the panel featuring Michael Stumo of Coalition for a Prosperous America, and Kathy Baylis of the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
Convention attendees will also be treated to a host of informational breakout sessions, award ceremonies, and an event in support of NFU Foundation.
More information on convention programming can be found at NFU.org/convention.