December 11, 2017

North Dakota Farmers Union State Convention Slated for Dec. 15-16

NDFUNorth Dakota’s largest farm organization will kick off its 91st annual state convention in Bismarck on Friday, Dec. 15, at the Bismarck Event Center. A mix of educational speakers, entertainment, policy debate, elections, youth achievement recognition and a visit from royalty, all highlight this year’s event.

On Friday morning, Dr. Frayne Olson, a crops economist and marketing specialist from NDSU, will conduct a pre-convention seminar at 8:30 a.m. on market outlooks globally. Well-known ag analyst Mike Pearson will also share his market insights with Farmers Union members on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Educational breakout sessions will be held Friday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. on health care, FSA producer loans, and our state’s climate outlook. Dr. Adnan Akyuz will share his long-range climate predictions and the consequential opportunities and challenges for farmers and ranchers. As North Dakota’s climatologist, he’ll also address the 2017 drought and moisture outlook for 2018.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is expected to address members on Friday evening. Policy debate, election of officers, Farmers Union Insurance’s annual meeting, live and silent auctions, and entertainment by farmer/comedian Jerry Carroll, and the Johnny Holm Band round out the two-day celebration.

Of special highlight on Saturday evening is an address by newly crowned Miss America Cara Mund, who will be speaking to the 2017 Torchbearer Class. Twenty youth will earn their Torchbearer award, the highest honor a youth can achieve in the Farmers Union youth program. Mund is the first Miss North Dakota to be crowned Miss America. 

The convention is open to the public. A $70 registration fee is required. Activities for youth and daycare are also provided throughout the convention. To see a complete agenda or to register, go to or call 1-800-366-8331.

Farmers Union: Tax Reform Plans Jeopardize Farm Safety Net

The National Farmers Union warns the two tax bills being considered by Congress would jeopardize all funding for farm bill commodity safety net programs.The National Farmers Union warns the two tax bills being considered by Congress would jeopardize all funding for farm bill commodity safety net programs. A new Congressional Budget Office analysis of the two bills, being considered this week, says a $1.5 trillion deficit increase would need to be offset by eliminating all funding for vital farm programs. The analysis says those programs include the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the bill could require 100 percent sequestration of all commodity program payments and other farm bill programs. He says the proposal asks farmers and ranchers to trade possible tax benefits for the elimination of farm safety net payments, calling that a “disastrous trade.”