March 5, 2019

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202.314.3106

BELLEVUE, Wash. – The National Farmers Union (NFU) 117th Anniversary Convention concluded today following the adoption of the organization’s policy book and special orders of business. More than 460 family farmers and ranchers convened in Bellevue, Washington, to set organizational policy positions that seek to better the lives of American farm and ranch families and the vibrancy of rural communities.

Delegates to the convention adopted the NFU Policy Book and eight special orders of business that will guide the organization’s government affairs priorities over the course of the next year, especially as they relate to the tough economic circumstances and sustainability issues facing family farmers.

“Our organization derives its strength from its grassroots structure,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Farmers Union members put their heart and soul into making our country and the world a better place for farm families. So our convention is our most important event—it’s the time every year where delegates set organizational directives and priorities of focus for federal-level policies. We look forward to a successful 2019 in advocating in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the hard-working family farmers and ranchers who feed, fuel and clothe our nation.”

Convention attendees were treated to keynote remarks from Andrew Winston, a globally recognized expert on helping businesses thrive and create a more sustainable world, and remarks from Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. NFU President Roger Johnson delivered his annual State of the Farmers Union address, offering NFU members a vision of hope for the future of family farm agriculture. Johnson also moderated a panel discussion on trade issues with Michael Stumo of Coalition for a Prosperous America, and Kathy Baylis of the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.

“This year, we made a concerted effort to provide programming that gives our members an outlook on the future of food and agriculture,” said Johnson. “Ultimately, our nation wants to have a safe, reliable, and transparent food system, thriving rural communities, and a healthy environment. And all of these are dependent upon family farm agriculture. So while economic issues abound and much of our current farm policy fails to put American family farmers and ranchers on an even playing field with corporations and foreign competitors, there are opportunities ahead for farm families.”

In order to provide the national organization a set of priorities for the coming year, 177 Farmers Union delegates approved eight special orders of business:

Family Farming and Biofuels
Family Farming and Climate Change
Family Farming and Dairy
Family Farming and Farm Labor
Family Farming and the Farm Safety Net
Family Farming and Market Concentration
Family Farming and Trade
Family Farming and Truth in Labeling

Full text of the adopted policy manual will be available soon at


Stay Connected
Follow along with NFU’s 117th Anniversary Convention using the hashtag #NFU2019, and follow NFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Select programming will be livestreamed on Facebook Live on the NFU Facebook page. Download the NFU Convention app here for more information.

Download Audio
To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quotes, visit our website at

About NFU
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.

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