NFU Seek Assistance for Independent Producers

WASHINGTON, US - The National Farmers Union Board of Directors, meeting in St. Louis last week called on Congress to take action to assist independent livestock producers struggling with higher production prices. The board also called for relief for the less fortunate to confront rising food costs and high home heating costs this coming winter.
calendar icon 3 July 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

“National Farmers Union is committed to enhancing the economic well-being of all independent family farmers and those less fortunate who are experiencing rising food costs as a result of the skyrocketing price of energy. We are prepared to work with Congress in finding solutions to the challenges brought forth by skyrocketing energy costs,” the board said.

"Until we get energy prices under control, consumers will not experience food price relief."
NFU President Tom Buis

Recognizing limited budget resources and congressional pay-go rules, the board said assistance could be provided by offsetting or reducing previously approved tax incentives to large oil and gas entities that are posting record profits.

“Energy has a far greater impact on food costs than commodity prices. Agriculture is very energy-intensive and because farmers do not set their own price, they have no way of passing on the increased energy expenses needed to produce a crop. Meanwhile, large oil and gas companies have benefited from multiple tax incentives, while at the same time posted historic profits,” NFU President Tom Buis said.

The board recognized the strain high grocery prices are placing on consumers, yet pointed out that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers receive less than 20 cents for every dollar Americans spend on food; the other 80 cents occurs after it leaves the farm and before the product arrives on the shelf.

“Until we get energy prices under control, consumers will not experience food price relief,” Buis said.

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