March 4, 2018

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – National Farmers Union (NFU) officially convened its 116th Anniversary Convention this afternoon in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 450 Farmers Union members from across the country are gathered for the annual event, which runs through March 6.

“As a family farmer-driven organization, NFU’s convention is the organization’s most important event of the year. It’s an opportunity to celebrate what makes Farmers Union truly unique – and that is family farmers of all types, sizes, ethnicities, regions and religions banding together to make sure they all can enjoy the American dream,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Over the next several days, attendees will engage with industry experts, policymakers, thought leaders and fellow farmers on topics of vital importance to family farm agriculture. Top of mind for most attendees and speakers are the severely depressed farm economy, negotiations on the upcoming Farm Bill, extreme consolidation in the agricultural sector, and the success of the next generation of family farmers.

The information learned will provide context for the organization’s annual line-by-line policy review by Farmers Union delegates in the final days of the convention. “NFU’s grassroots policy adoption process allows our members to dictate the direction of the organization, and it is very important to deciding the policy we bring to the table in Washington, D.C.,” Johnson explained.

“This year’s deliberations will be especially important, as family farmers and ranchers face a dismal farm economy, waves of consolidation, and upcoming farm bill negotiations, among the normal volatility that they deal with on a day-to-day basis,” Johnson added. “We look forward to our members setting positions that are representative of policy solutions that work for family agriculture and rural communities.”

Keynote remarks at this year’s convention will be delivered by Jason Kander, president of Let America Vote, and Art Cullen, Pulitzer-prize winning editor of The Storm Lake Times. NFU President Roger Johnson will deliver his annual State of the Farmers Union speech. The convention will also feature a conversation on the opioid crisis gripping farm and ranch families. Sarah Tyree, Vice President of Government Relations at CoBank, will moderate a panel with NFU President Roger Johnson, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, and USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett. The panel will focus on NFU’s and AFBF’s joint Farm Town Strong campaign and USDA’s efforts to combat opioid misuse in rural America.

Convention attendees will also be treated to a local farm tour of Shatto Milk Company, award ceremonies, NFU education programming events, and a screening of the new documentary on beginning farmer issues, “Farmers For America.”

More information on convention programming can be found at


Stay Connected
Follow along with NFU’s 116th Anniversary Convention using the hashtag #NFU2018, 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.