Farmers Union Amplifies Rural Voices

Farmers Union members joined together in Washington, DC to advocate for family farmers as well as a strong Farm Bill. This was part of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Fall Legislative Fly-In. Over the course of the week, Farmers Union members attended Congressional meetings and also met with fifteen federal agencies.

15 Wisconsin Farmers Union members were among those taking part in the NFU Fly-In. Participants visited the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where they heard from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small, USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael

“At a time when the details of the farm bill are still in flux, the Fly-In is especially important,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden. “This is a key opportunity for lawmakers to put a face to the issues impacting rural America. It helps also them understand the importance of passing a strong farm bill with the right programs in place.”

Farmers Union members brought into sharp focus the imperative of the Fairness for Farmers legislation within the 2023 Farm Bill. Central to their advocacy is a competition title, designed to ensure that family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities have access to fair, open, as well as competitive markets. Additionally, they championed a robust farm safety net, a comprehensive nutrition title, and forward-thinking climate change policies that offer support to family farmers and ranchers.

“It’s so important to build relationships with our legislators and fellow farmers,” said WFU Policy Coordinator Michelle Ramirez-White. “When we can educate around what’s happening at home in Wisconsin, working on problems facing rural America and getting programs that are working extended becomes a reachable goal.”

Pictured left to right, (front row) Selina Briske, Amery; Linda Ceylor, Catawba; Darin Von Ruden, Westby; Michelle Ramirez-White, Madison. (middle row) David Michelson, DeForest; Joshua Mechaelson, Waukesha; Ruby Sheaffer, Monroe; Patty Edelburg, Amherst. (third row) Michael Slattery, Maribel; Joseph Childs, Boscobel; Tina Hinchley, Cambridge. (back row) Dave Rosen, Glenwood City; and Duane Hinchley, Cambridge. Not pictured: Tommy Enright, Amherst; Kendall Johnson, Madison.