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Montana Producers Head to National Convention to Talk Policy, Ag Issues

 

February 23, 2022



GREAT FALLS – Montana producers head to Denver, Colo., Sunday to the 120th National Farmers Union Convention, where they will share state priorities as the organization forms policy for the year ahead.

The group of delegates is: Eric Bergman from Fort Shaw; Joellyn Clark and Tom Clark from Fort Benton; Chad Doheny from Dutton; Gwyneth Givens and John Wicks from Ledger; Paul Neubauer from Havre; Cindy Palmer and Walter Schweitzer from Geyser; Phillip Prewett from Park City; Sarah Rachor from Sidney; and Erik Somerfeld from Power.

“Our delegates from Montana work hard to represent all of our members and make sure Montana agriculture is heard on a national level,” MFU board member Sarah Rachor said.

The convention comes as the crafting of a new Farm Bill looms on the horizon and the three-days are an opportunity to form policy that will inform NFU’s stances and efforts to support family farms and ranches in the coming year.

“We have a great group of new and experienced delegates and work together to submit changes to national policy we see are needed to help our family farmers and ranchers,” said Rachor, who farms near Sidney.

In September, NFU unveiled its Fairness to Farmers campaign, which tackles monopolies in agriculture. Delegates will be updated on the Fairness campaign, as well as learn from speakers including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Montana senator Jon Tester, who is a longtime MFU member and recently introduced the Agriculture Right to Repair Act that tackles consolidation in the ag industry.

Having a Montana senator and MFU member as a keynote speaker at the national convention is an honor and speaks to the significance of Tester’s work to support producers and rural communities, MFU President Walter Schweitzer said.

“Senator Tester has been instrumental in getting key legislation introduced in Congress that reflects Farmers Union priorities like mandatory country of origin labeling, right to repair, cattle market transparency and a special investigator to investigate the anti-competitive practices of the corporate monopolies, working to hold them accountable and create a fair marketplace for all,” Schweitzer said.

Rachor, who also chairs NFU’s Policy Committee, said state priorities of tackling market consolidation and ag industry monopolies align with the Fairness for Farmers campaign.

“We are also addressing ag labor and processing, supply chain issues and ways to work through them, as well as climate change because we’ve all been feeling the effects of the wild weather the last several years on top of unstable market conditions,” she said about NFU’s priorities.

More on the convention can be found at https://nfu.org/convention/.

 

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