By Kent Peppler
“Winning is not one of the things, it’s the only thing.”
— Vince Lombardi
“Just win baby.”
— Al Davis
“Second place is for losers.”
— Jeff Schuman
“Someone might best me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”
— Steve Prefontaine
Yea, it’s fun to win, and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has been winning a lot lately. Being the competitive person that I am, winning is making my job as president a whole lot of fun. Let’s take a look at the most recent wins.
Disaster aid will be here in January and it’s about time! Congress passed the Iraq spending bill recently and in that bill is $3 billion for agriculture disaster relief, including livestock. This is the culmination of a three-year fight with Congress and an administration that refused to sign agriculture disaster in the past.
Your Farmers Union organizations were the leaders in procuring this aid. We sunk our teeth into this deal like we were a mad Rottweiler and just didn’t let go until the administration totally capitulated. A lot of people are taking credit for this win, but three years ago, when the disaster battle began, the only group charging the hill was Farmer Union, and we need to be proud of that.
COOL is finally here. After ten years, country-of-origin labeling is a done deal. National Farmers Union’s Tom Buis and his staff did a masterful job of negotiating and lobbying to finally bring this win home!
American producers of all different types of commodities will benefit a great deal from COOL. Consumers will now have what they have wanted for years, knowing where their food comes from. My hat’s off to Tom and the great staff at National for winning this one! The House Farm Bill is as close to RMFU policy as it gets. We got a decent safety net, authorization for permanent disaster, and a serious overhaul on payment limitations. All three are right there in the RMFU policy that Monty Niebur and his Farm Bill Task Force and the convention delegates put together. Thanks to Monty and all those who helped. This new Farm Bill has much more to offer and as the Senate begins to work on their side we will keep you informed as to the progress of the different components.
We at RMFU have had a lot of wins so far this year. The board and our staff have worked very hard, and I appreciate what they have done for us members. But you as members are the hearts and souls of this organization, and the more input you have in what this organization does the better off we all are. I encourage you to get or stay involved in our issues. We have accomplished a great deal because we have sound policy based on grassroots logic that resonates not only with our members, but with all farmers and ranchers throughout this great nation. We have a lot of work yet to do, but with your help I know that RMFU will bring home some more wins and rural America will be better for it.
Just remember, if you feel like you are under control, you aren’t going fast enough. I hope to talk with you soon and I hope when I do we will have some more wins.