National Farmers Union Advances Fair Market Access for Growers
By Brian German, Associate Editor
Chandler Goule, senior vice president of Programs for the National Farmers Union (NFU), introduced his organization,”The National Farmers Union is the second largest general farm organization in the United States. We represent about 200,000 family farmers and ranchers. We have membership in all 50 states, but we’re organized in 32.”
Goule described NFU membership, “We were founded in 1902 down in Point, Texas, so we represent everybody from row crops, to dairymen, to ranchers, to specialty crops, to those who are selling in Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) . You name it, we’ve got somebody. Bee collectors and honey producers are also in our organization.”
Since its inception, the NFU has been an advocate for helping the family farmer address profitability issues and monopolistic practices by increasing cooperative rights along with advancing fair market access for growers. “We are a federation of states,” Goule said, “so we’re a grassroots organization. NFU could not exist without California Farmers Union and North Dakota Farmers Union and Minnesota Farmers Union. So when you bring all the state farmers union devisions together, that’s what makes up National Farmers Union. It’s a very bottom-up approach.
“Of course, with California being the bread basket for the United States and by far the largest in gross domestic product (GDP) in agriculture,” Gould stated, “California Farmers Union membership is very heavy in dairy, has a little bit of viticulture and then specialty crops.”
National Farmers Union is a grassroots, producer-driven organization that believes good opportunities in production agriculture are the foundation of strong farm and ranch families, and strong farm and ranch families are the basis for thriving rural communities. Vibrant rural communities, in turn, are vital to the health, security and economic well-being of our entire national economy.