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Farmers Union Members Return to Nation’s Capital

DENVER—Five Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) members will join family farmers and ranchers from across the country in Washington, D.C., Feb. 3-6, 2002, to urge swift passage of a new farm bill.

“We are going to Washington to make sure Congress finishes a farm bill immediately,” said RMFU Vice President Paul Stout of Broadview, N.M. “If we don’t have a farm bill soon, it will mean another year without a dependable safety net, another year of emergency assistance requests, and more uncertainty for producers. Swift action is necessary.”

RMFU members joining Stout on the National Farmers Union legislative fly-in include: Roberta Wallace, Pueblo West, Colo.; Jennifer Felzein, Sterling, Colo.; Kenneth Fehringer, Peetz, Colo.; and Carl Jensen, Wheatland, Wyo. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently predicted that farm gate prices would drop by nearly 20 percent this year if a new farm law is not enacted. Meanwhile, farmers continue to experience low commodity prices, a depressed rural economy, unfair trade practices and increased concentration in the food and agriculture industries.

Farmers Union members will also ask Congress to improve the pending legislation with measures that: target benefits to family farmers and ranchers, set realistic and reasonable payment limits, and address problems associated with a lack of competition in agricultural markets.

“If something isn’t done now, farmers and ranchers will see the smallest safety net in decades,” Stout said. “We need to make plans for this spring’s crops. We need to be sure that the money for the budget is available. This is why Congress should not delay the passage of a farm bill.”