More than 100 North Dakotans will be in Washington, D.C., this week, meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill and Trump administration officials to draw attention to the farm bill, declining net farm income and the impact trade disruptions are having on family farms. The delegation is part of 350 family farmers and ranchers from across the country that will be participating in National Farmers Union’s Legislative Fly-In, Sept. 12-14.
North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne said passage of a farm bill before current legislation expires on Sept. 30 is a top priority. “We’ll be advocating for a farm bill that has a strong crop insurance component and safety net programs. One way to offset losses farmers are incurring from the trade war is to raise crop reference prices in the farm bill,” he said.
Participants will visit all 535 congressional offices to meet with members of Congress and congressional staff to share their personal story of how federal policies and actions have impacted their farm or ranch. They also will be meeting with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and several undersecretaries.
Watne said the North Dakota delegation is one of the largest ever to participate in a Farmers Union Fly-In. “This just shows the level of hurt in the countryside, especially when farmers are shutting off their combine during harvest to make this trip and have their voice heard.”