The National Farmers Union concluded its 112th national convention and Santa Fe, NM with delegates adopting a fresh slate of “special orders of business” for 2014.
Just as with special orders passed by state conventions, NFU’s special orders focus the family farming organization’s policy lens for the year. Among topics with special orders passed are Farm Bill implementation, trade concerns, reform of the beef checkoff and recognizing 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming.
As we deal with an impending doubling of the state of Ohio beef checkoff, here’s what NFU had to say about the national program:
Checkoff programs are intended to promote the consumption and further research and development of commodities, funded by assessing a fee from a farmer, rancher, grower or processor, based on the production of the commodity. These are worthwhile objectives if the checkoff programs and funds are properly administered. Policy organizations should be divorced from the beef checkoff program.
A process to review the structure and effectiveness of the beef checkoff is underway, but has dragged on for almost three years. Meetings of the Beef Industry Checkoff Group have continued for so long because decisions have been based on consensus and some organizations object to nearly all reforms. Instead, changes should be made according to the majority of organizations assembled in the Beef Industry Checkoff Group.
If adequate changes to the current structure of the beef checkoff are not made within the confines of the Beef Industry Checkoff Group, NFU will seek its own resolutions to these problems.
On international trade, NFU continues to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership proposed trade deal and voiced continued opposition to “Fast Track” authority for the president when negotiating trade agreements. NFU supports:
NFU supports cooperative efforts among nations to maintain prices for raw commodities at fair levels and provide or orderly conduct of commerce. Future trade agreements must look beyond simply regulating domestic support levels, export subsidies and market access but should address differences in labor, environmental and health standards. Furthermore, great attention must be paid to the trade‐distorting effects of currency manipulation and the cartelization of agricultural markets.
To view all of NFU’s special orders for 2014 click here.