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From President Mark Watne

North Dakota Farmers Union

Value-added projects make a difference

Many times, in my president’s message, I have talked about the “Catch 22” farmers face in profitability. As we become more efficient and produce more per acre, we further grow the supply of our commodities in a market that has limited demand. This drives our prices...

WATNE: Farmers face a pricing dilemma

I spent the end of May and early June with farmers around the world. We all like to say that agriculture is a global market, but we forget that we, as farmers globally, are actually quite similar in our quest for profitable operations. We “compete” with farmers around...

WATNE: Enough is enough

For nearly a year, Farmers Union has been challenging the approach to the trade war and what a so-called win will look like.  Vice President Bob Kuylen and I have spoken at numerous events about farmers and ranchers being pawns in a chess game of trade where it is...

WATNE: Let’s work together in farm country

There is a mantra in farm and ranch country that often goes something like, “Farmers are a resilient and self-reliant bunch.” While that’s mostly true, we don’t often hear farmers and ranchers say those words out loud. For most of us, it’s just not part of our nature....

WATNE: ‘Divide and conquer’ winning out

Divide and conquer is defined as to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together. The term originated 1200 years before Julius Caeser claimed to have defined it in the development of the Roman Empire. For the purpose...

WATNE: About balance: A call for tax equity

Legislative priorities are always important to the future of our state and federal government. While it is easy to ignore the process of policy and law development, we should never give up the opportunity to participate and ensure our thoughts and ideas are...

WATNE: It’s been a busy year for NDFU

Our 92nd annual state convention recently concluded, and I want to thank all of our members for making it truly special. We had excellent attendance as our grassroots policy development was in action. We are a grassroots organization driven by member involvement and...

WATNE: NDFU fights for family farms

The greatest thing in a democracy is the ability to vote. It is somewhat relaxing when a political election season ends, and we move on to the work of the nation or state. I know some say they are glad when it is over. But for our farm organization, the ground work we...

WATNE: Vote for family farms on Nov. 6

Being a citizen of the United States comes with a certain amount of responsibility. We are the government, not some separate entity that we blame for things. Each of us has a responsibility to participate in our democracy so our elected officials, who determine the...

WATNE: Farmers need increased demand

I am writing this message from Washington, D.C., while on the NFU fly-in. I hope as you read this that we have a farm bill that is passed or nearly passed, as it is essential when we face ridiculously low commodity prices. I also hope that we have solved the trade...