A Year After Move, NIFA and ERS Still Woefully Understaffed

September 24, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, National Farmers Union Communications Director A year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) abruptly relocated two of its major research agencies – the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service) – from Washington, D.C. to Kansas City. The move forced dozens of experienced employees to quit, taking their expertise … Read More

Farm Preparedness Checklist for Covid-19

September 17, 2020Blog, Food Safety

By Melanie Arthur, NFU Intern The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges for our food system, especially for those operating or working on farms or in food facilities. To simplify and streamline pandemic-related decisions, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new resource, the Employee Health … Read More

One in Eight Meat Plant Workers Has Tested Positive for Covid-19

September 10, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director Many years before the coronavirus pandemic, there were concerns that meat plant workers were at high risk of contracting contagious diseases – concerns that have only ramped up in recent months. For one, meat plants are cold, which increases the risk of transmission. Masks are the obvious protection, but the physical demands and … Read More

Join Us Next Week for NFU’s Fall Legislative Fly-In

September 10, 2020Blog

Next week, hundreds of hundreds of farmers, ranchers, and rural residents will gather online to speak directly with their elected representatives and administration officials as part of National Farmers Union’s (NFU) virtual legislative fly-in. While signup for the full event has closed, we are opening several of the fly-in sessions to the public. All three are … Read More

Farmers are Losing Money on Many Major Commodities

September 3, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director The farm economy was weak long before the pandemic. For years, chronic overproduction  has severely depressed commodity prices. Global trade disputes that eroded export markets certainly didn’t help, nor did corporate control of the agriculture industry. But new pandemic-related disruptions have pushed down prices even lower than they were before – so much so … Read More

A Summer of Climate Change Activity in DC

September 2, 2020Blog, Climate Blog

By Jenny Hopkinson, NFU Senior Government Relations Representative It seems everyone in Washington is talking about agriculture’s role in combatting climate change. Across the government, officials are embracing the need for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving soil health – both of which are key for addressing the climate crisis. This summer, there was a … Read More

Climate Change Poses a Real and Imminent Threat to Agriculture

August 27, 2020Blog

Climate change is not a future or hypothetical problem – year after year, farmers and ranchers across the country are enduring more frequent and extreme weather events and natural disasters. This year has been no different. In California, dozens of fires have burned through hundreds of thousands of acres, destroying farm structures and razing crops. Though wildfires … Read More

Small Rural Towns Embrace Urban Farming

August 26, 2020Blog, Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU FSMA Training Coordinator The term “urban farming” evokes images of gleaming greenhouses scattered across New York rooftops, shipping containers full of greens in Charleston, South Carolina, or raised beds in the shadow of the Oakland A’s stadium. But in small rural towns, some farmers are adopting practices that are hallmarks of … Read More

Attacks on USPS Threaten Rural Communities and the Democratic Process

August 20, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been experiencing financial issues for many years, but dwindling mail volume during the pandemic has made matters worse, severely cutting into the agency’s revenue. Unlike most other government agencies, which are funded by taxpayer money, USPS funds itself with revenue from postage and postal service. Though the … Read More

Pandemic Assistance Favors Certain Farmers Over Others

August 13, 2020Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director According to new analysis published this week by NBC News, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has disproportionately helped certain kinds of farmers more than others with its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The publication asserts that the agency “favored large, industrialized farms over smaller, diversified ones, provided loopholes … Read More