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FarmStarts


PRESIDENT PAUL OLSON National Farmers President Paul Olson, Taylor, Wis., lauded the merits of commodity supply management and producing for consumer demand at National Farmers national convention in Springfield, Mo., Jan. 26. “Set a price. Only produce what the market will bear. Don’t over-produce,” Olson said. The pace at which National Farmers locations are receiving Paul Olson inquiry calls has increased. “We’re adding more new farms and new members than we have for many years. That’s positive,” he said. At a time when many Northeast and Great Lakes region producers with other dairy marketers have been removed from milk pickup routes, National Farmers has answered their calls for help. Family producers are in the middle of an international industry, whether it’s livestock, grain or dairy, Olson said. “We also have to produce what the consumer wants,” he said. When enough consumers realize family farmers need their support in the grocery aisle, and that it will help rural America, they will be the best of friends. “And they’ll want to buy from our type of farms,” he said. Reaching those consumers will happen through partnerships with like-minded processors, by our reaching out to them.

GRAIN DIVISION National Board Member Harold Walker reminded members about the Grain Division’s flagship marketing tool, Grain Marketing Plus, at national convention Jan. 27. “You can talk to your neighbors with pride and say, ‘National Farmers marketed my production and they did a heck of a job. My bottom line is better as a result,” Walker said. The Grain Division is beginning the process of integrating current grain data into software from AgVision. It will track contracts, delivery dates and locations, prices, sale dates and will generate reports. It will be easier for producers, and will be a useful tool as marketers work with members to develop marketing plans, Walker said. National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent Mike Kleaving updated members about prevented planting coverage changes for 2017. He also noted the agency grew from its 2009 launch in Indiana, and is now in 15 states.

LIVESTOCK DIVISION

At National Farmers national convention Livestock Division rolled out a new data serv Marketing for risk management. Producers can receive breakeven price ca cattle purchase, and alerts when target pric Details are in the Livestock Signals column o In his comments, Director of Operations Pat Lampert Garry Crosby reliability National Farmers and Nexus Ag M years with livestock buyers has resulted in calls from processors looking for supply when producers have b producer members for providing steady, high-quality supply. Rhonda Bakken, national board member from Iowa, and Decorah, Iowa, livestock marketing manage members about the cattle market and the volume of inquiries in weeks prior to convention. “The last two weeks have been crazy with phones ringing off the hook, farmers asking advice and us h We’re very fortunate to have this team of experts guide us and give us the answers,” she said, referencing L als. “….We’ve written a sizable number in the last two weeks...”


CROSS LAW FIRM, LLC NEWLY-SEATED NATIONAL FARMERS BOARD MEMBERS

DR. HARWOOD SCHAFFER—FARM BILL

Harwood Schaffer

Dr. Harwood Schaffer, University of Tennessee Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, examined farm exports and the balance of trade during the past four decades. He provided a review of farm bill policy programs since the 1970s, and proposed a market-driven inventory system for the next farm bill. In 2011, Schaffer and Dr. Daryll Ray, now retired from the Ag Policy Analysis Center, conducted a study of the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act, comparing it to the previously-used supply management system approach before that farm bill. He said farm income would have been higher, and government costs would have been lower using the pre-1996 farm legislation. “It’s always the next great hope that exports will lead us into the next golden age of agriculture, but the numbers for grains and livestock just don’t bear that out,” Schaffer underscored. “I’m not against trade, but the reality is, exports just don’t create prosperity.”

BRIAN O’SHAUGHNESSY—TRADE Brian O’Shaughnessy, co-chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America and chairman of Revere Copper Products, talked trade, value-added tax and mercantilism to organization members in Springfield, Mo. “The free-trade fever began building in 1995, when tariffs were eliminated by participating countries in the newly formed World Trade Organization,” O’Shaughnessy said. He said America was outsmarted when we signed on to WTO, because the U.S. has no value-added tax. He cited an example for a product with a $100 value the U.S. sells to Mexico. Because of the 15 percent VAT tax in Mexico, it costs $115 to get it into the country. But, when a product with a $100 value is sold to the U.S. from Mexico, that same VAT rebates $15 to Mexican producers, which means their cost to sell to the U.S. is only $85. Countries that operate under mercantile-based economies, including China, Mexico, Germany and France, have used VAT to help subsidize the producers of various products in their countries, he said. That amounts to a barrier on imports and a subsidy on exports for them.

BIG CONVENTION FUN

Ray Zimmerman wins Farm Kids for College Drawing

n in Springfield, Mo., Jan. 27, the vice for cattlemen who use Nexus Ag

alculations as they are considering a ces are met for designated cattle lots. on page seven. Pat Lampert said the reputation for Marketing have developed through the been slow to market. He credited cattle

er with her husband, Gary, addressed

helping them solve their problems. Livestock risk management profession-

Brian O’Shaughnessy

AGRICULTURE POLICY

Cindy Fitterling

Members voted in favor of the following policy positions Crop Insurance • Affordable crop insurance is an integral part of overall ag policy • Members support current funding levels • Crop insurance is effective in protecting farm incomes and securing operating loans • Organic producers increasingly rely on crop insurance protection • National Farmers supports premium rates commensurate with organic payments available for losses incurred Dairy Policy • Implementation of a growth management program that uses price as an incentive to manage production

DAIRY DIVISION Dr. Bruce Muirhead, associate vice president of External Research, University of Waterloo, Canada, said supply management guarantees the existence of family farms, and his country is the only one in the world with such a dairy system. The supply management method, he said, Philip Swennen assures producers are price negotiators. “They & Michelle Soucy Brad Rach Bruce Muirhead actually get something out of the equation at the end of the day,” he said. With 70 percent of global dairy production traded internationally, and the financial state of dairy farming in many countries, he sees farmers being disadvantaged. National Farmers Dairy Division Director Brad Rach, in his address, said the recent U.S. price crisis is as serious as he’s seen. “We need a dairy policy that stops and reverses the trend of fewer and larger dairy farms,” he said. It would create opportunities for young farmers, and improve rural economies, he said. “We need a dairy policy that does a better job of balancing supply and usage,” Rach added. He advocated for a system that surmounts WTO and Capper-Volstead challenges, because, right now, “farmers are becoming concerned about their ability to make independent decisions.” He reminded producers about National Farmers’ proposal for a two-tier dairy pricing system. Details on nationalfarmers.com.


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Bob Schultheis


March April National Farmers Magazine  

National Farmers Magazine helps both conventional and organic agricultural producers of grains, beef and milk market their production to ach...

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