WATNE: There’s a farm crisis, don’t ignore it

In the middle of April, I presented at two conferences; one in Fargo and the other in Brussels, Belgium. The Fargo conference was hosted by the Center for Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies and focused on farm policy and the 2018 Farm Bill. The meeting in Brussels...

WATNE: NDFU inclusive of all family farmers

March is typically the month for the National Farmers Union convention. This is a time when all states send delegates to develop policies that NFU will support in the upcoming year for family farms, ranches, cooperatives and rural communities. Every year, I am amazed...
WATNE: Support fair trade between nations

WATNE: Support fair trade between nations

“To be or not to be” is a quote from Hamlet written by Shakespeare. My message this month is about trade relations or in the words of Shakespeare, “To trade or not to trade.” Looking at last year’s presidential campaign and the first weeks of the Trump administration,...

WATNE: Fair practice rules good for farmers, ranchers

North Dakota Farmers Union and National Farmers Union have always worked hard to ensure equity in contractual arrangements for family farmers. This last December, we had a great win with the release of Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which aim to level the playing field...

WATNE: Be proud of your family farm

No surprise here. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) recently released an economic bulletin on family farms that shows we account for 99 percent of all farms and generated 89 percent of production in 2015. The farm typology, or classification, developed by ERS...

WATNE: NDFU continues to fight for agriculture

Elections come and go, but the hard work of self-government in a democracy never ends. Most people think that Election Day ends their participation in the democratic process. Really, it is only the beginning of the process. We now have the responsibility to hold our...