KTVQ: Farmers union convention celebrates 120 years of service to America's family farmers

by Russell Nemetz

Since 1902, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has served America’s family farmers and ranchers. And this year, the organization is having its 120th Anniversary Convention in Denver, Colo., ironically tackling some of the same issues that farmers and ranchers dealt with 120 years ago.

“Unfortunately, over the last several decades, we’ve seen a lot of consolidation in agriculture, and so in many cases, we’re seeing a return to some of the original challenges,” said NFU president Rob Larew. “Our antitrust laws are not being enforced like we believe they should be. And a lot of the rules and protections that were put in place back there in the beginning with the help of leaders like Teddy Roosevelt have now been eroded to a point where we have to get additional protections.”

Over the years, Montana Farmers Union (MFU) has emerged as a real leader here on the national level. MFU President Walter Schweitzer says a lot of National Farmers Union policy actually originates at the Montana Farmers Union’s annual convention held each fall.

“This is a really important convention because we bring a diverse group of farmers who have diverse crops and a diverse method of growing these crops together to talk about policy that’s important to all of us,” said Schweitzer.

This year, the NFU will also be recognizing Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester for his work and dedication to America’s family, farmers and ranchers.

“This is our Fairness for Farmers Champion Award because Senator Tester has been there time and time again,” said Larew. “Whether we’re talking about country-of-origin labeling, restoring fairness to beef markets, right-to-repair or other Ag issues, Senator Tester remains one of those key leaders that isn’t afraid of a fight and goes charging in in the best interests of family farmers.”

General session and panel discussions will be live streamed on NFU’s Facebook page at facebook.com/nationalfarmersunion. More information on convention programming can be found at nfu.org/convention. Follow along using the hashtag #NFU2022.