June 17, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (June 17, 2015) – Three Farmers Union officials will participate in panel discussions during the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) General Assembly meeting later this month in Milan, Italy.

“We are thrilled and honored as an organization that three Farmers Union delegates have been asked to participate in this global discussion to share their knowledge about sustainable, precision farming, agriculture contract issues and credit issues in ranching and farming,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president.

The WFO General Assembly will take place June 24-27 at the Politecnico of Milan and feature sessions on stainable and equitable solutions for feeding the world’s increasing population, facing climate evolution, and responding to the agricultural social mandate. Dave Velde, NFU vice president of international relations, will discuss managing farmers’ rights in contract issues and the UNIDROIT program.

“A key component to ensuring global food security is the capacity of all parties in the food system to build stable, fair relationships with one another,” said Velde. “In order to do so, reasonable protection for each party needs to be explicit,” he said. “As there are clear protections for food processors and distributors, there also needs to be clear protections for farmers and ranchers.”

Mark Watne, North Dakota Farmers Union president, will be discussing smart use of nutrients for soils, a solution he notes is both essential to agricultural sustainability and beneficial to both farmers and the environment.

“New nutrient management systems have the potential to enhance the sustainability of our agricultural and environmental systems,” said Watne. “When farmers utilize precision nutrient applications, they have the ability to benefit both their own operation and the surrounding environment. There is incredible opportunity to protect soil health, water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time increasing yields while decreasing input costs.”

Robert Carlson, former North Dakota Farmers Union president and first president of the WFO, will discuss farmers’ access to finance, from traditional to innovative agrocredit systems.

“Providing farmers and ranchers access to credit is vital to the success of current and future agricultural systems,” said Carlson. “Beginning and lifelong farmers alike rely on equal access to affordable financing for their operations, and there are new and inventive systems for doing just that on the horizon.”

For more on the WFO General Assembly 2015, click here.

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.