Issues

Both urban and rural North Dakotans believe that family farming is central to the North Dakota way of life.  Family farm agriculture is essential to North Dakota’s economy and communities. We believe it is important to develop policy that enhances rural communities and ensures North Dakota family farmers thrive.

STATE ISSUES

AG PROGRAMS IN ND
  • NDSU research and Extension are vital to family farmers. The state must provide adequate funding for these programs.
  • The Bank of North Dakota must continue to be utilized for family farm agricultural programs.
CHALLENGES TO FARMING
  • The state must partner with family farmers in the creation of agricultural opportunities for a new generation of beginning farmers.
  • Healthcare is one of the top concerns of family farmers. The state must continue to offer low-income options for its citizens.
ENERGY
  • North Dakota has an opportunity to press forward and become one of the leading states that uses ethanol.
  • All gasoline sold in North Dakota should be blended with at least 15 percent ethanol.
  • There should be continued state assistance for alcohol-blended fuels.
INFRASTRUCTURE
  • The North Dakota Legacy Fund should be used to benefit the future of North Dakota. The use of the Legacy Fund should be prioritized as follows: (1) infrastructure, (2) education, (3) agriculture, (4) conservation, (5) other.
LAND OWNERSHIP
  • Family farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land; land is vital to the livelihood of farmers, and they are aware of their impact now and on future generations.
  • Farmland should stay in the hands of family farmers.
  • North Dakota needs a comprehensive policy that protects landowners from unfair contracts in the development of natural resources.
PROPERTY TAXES
  • Currently, property taxes are starting to again increase.
  • The next legislature should once again focus on property tax relief.

FEDERAL ISSUES

FARM BILL
  • American family farmers, ranchers and consumers all benefit from a strong, sustainable and secure food system. The farm bill is an important part of that system.
  • Congress needs to pass a farm bill now! Currently, the 2014 farm bill has expired. There is no replacement in sight or indication of when the conference committee will move a bill to Congress for final passage.
  • Farmers Union will continue to work for a farm bill that improves the safety net for family farmers.
RENEWABLE ENERGY
  • The growth of renewable energy use in transportation fuels, powered through policies like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), has been a success story for all Americans.
  • In 2017 alone, 560 million barrels of imported oil were replaced by American ethanol.
  • By removing arbitrary legislative and regulatory barriers to higher blends of ethanol, like E30, we can transition the energy sector to high octane fuels that clean our air and benefit farming and rural communities.
  • Unfortunately, the Trump administration has not been a strong ethanol supporter. While it has approved the use of E15 at the pump, that doesn’t make up for the billions of gallons of lost demand for ethanol that resulted from the administration granting RFS compliance waivers to oil refineries.
TRADE WAR
  • President Trump’s trade war with the rest of the world, particularly with China, continues to destroy relationships for U.S. farm products abroad, further depressing already low farm prices.
  • Farmers have seen their income take a drastic nosedive in the past five years, and our current trading situation has only made matters worse.
  • The Trump administration recently announced that it has reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico on a new trade pact, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement resolves longstanding issues with discrimination against U.S. wheat and opens up some markets for U.S. dairy. NDFU certainly sees this as a step in the right direction.
  • We call on the president to end the trade war with China and help get a meaningful farm bill passed.