US union applauds resolution designating 2014 “International Year of Family Farming”

The US National Farmers Union (NFU) has applauded the passage of the Senate Resolution designating 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).” NFU has lead the U.S. Committee for IYFF and played a key role in having the resolution adopted by the Senate.

“Recognizing the critical role family farmers play in providing food, fuel, feed and fiber to the global population and alleviating hunger and poverty is important because we need to be developing our future farmers – both in the United States and abroad – right now,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Senate Resolution 544, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, notes that while agriculture contributes more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and employs 14 percent of the total U.S. workforce, 45 percent of individuals around the world make their living from farming.

“Family farming clearly plays a major role in today’s economy and will continue to play a key role for those living in developing nations,” said Johnson. “For many citizens of the world, the primary key to breaking out of poverty will be farming.”

“Family farmers across the world lift up their communities with every harvest,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said. “Today’s action in the Senate recognizes that rural communities are the backbone of local economies around the world, and honors the contributions that family farmers make in our global fight to eradicate poverty and hunger.”

“I’m glad the Senate passed this resolution recognizing the contributions that family farmers make to the world community. Farming is a tireless and often thankless way to make a living, yet time and time again, family farmers stand ready to feed and fuel societies around the globe,” said Senator Charles Grassley.

Johnson thanked the senators for introducing the resolution and noted that it was fitting given their strong and unbending commitment to agriculture. “These senators have both been great friends and steadfast advocates for family farming and we appreciate the added spotlight they have given those who earn their living feeding the world’s people,” he said.

The resolution also urges other countries and national organizations to undertake activities supporting the IYFF while advocating for the protection and long-term viability of family farms both here and abroad.

Johnson noted that as part of that mandate, NFU will continue to focus its education programs on community engagement, leadership development and youth outreach. “Many of those who have been touched by NFU’s outreach and education efforts have indeed gone on to be farmers, leaders in agriculture, key decision-makers in international food and aid organizations and even elected officials,” said Johnson.

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