WASHINGTON — Illinois Farmers Union Members recently joined 320 other Farmers Union members in the nation’s capital for National Farmers Union (NFU) Fall Legislative Fly-in, September 11-13, 2017.
The annual event allows Farmers Union members from across the country to meet directly with lawmakers, USDA leaders and other administration officials to discuss issues important to family farmers and ranchers.
“We’ve seen a dramatic 50 percent drop in farm income over the past four years. At the same time, farmers are enduring weather volatility, uncertainty over foreign trade markets, massive consolidation of farms and agribusiness companies and the ongoing degradation of farming and rural community infrastructure and services.”
“The men and women who feed and fuel our nation need the support of their elected leaders and that is why 320 of them took several days out of their busy fall schedules to advocate at our Fly-in” said ILFU President Norbert Brauer.
“Congress has a long list of issues to deal with this fall, and we want to make sure they are considering the social and economic well-being of American family farmers and ranchers with every vote they cast”, said Brauer.
“Farmers Union members are especially concerned about the prospect of an adequate farm safety net through the 2018 Farm Bill, bipartisan health care system fixes that ensure accessible affordable quality health care and expanded markets for American grown, renewable fuel, including E30 and advanced biofuels.”
Farmers Union members attended a briefing at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett, National Resources Conservation Service Acting Chief Leonard Jordan and National Agricultural Statistics Service Administrator Hubert Hamer spoke to the group.
Fly-in participants also met with agriculture committee staff members to gain insight into the committees’ fall agendas.
Illinois Farmers Union members attending the 2017 Legislative Fly-in were Rick and Mary Duvall of Palatine, Jerry and Christy Lowery of Westfield, Wendel Lutz of Dewey and Illinois Farmers Union president, Norbert Brauer of Altamont.
The Illinois delegates presented the Golden Triangle Award, NFU’s highest legislative honor, to Illinois Senator Richard Durbin and Representative Cheri Bustos of the 17th Congressional District, for their leadership and support at the federal policymaking level for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.
— Illinois Farmers Union
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