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Tell your co-op's story with new campaign

Agriculture.com Staff 02/10/2010 @ 10:11am

The answer is the goal of a new campaign by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). The group recently launched a program to "tell the story of this country's 2,500 farmer cooperatives to policy makers, government officials and the American public."

The "Farmer Co-ops: Providing for America" campaign will carry a message to those who influence public policy, says NCFC president Chuck Conner. "From corner groceries, to superstores, to school lunch programs, farmer cooperatives provide the affordable, abundant food, fiber and fuel that America needs," Conner said recently. "Through our Farmer Co-ops: Providing for America campaign, NCFC will be carrying these messages and more to policy makers, government officials and the American public."

According to n NCFC report, the campaign will launch with the first Department of Justice (DOJ)/U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) workshop on antitrust issues in agriculture on March 12 in Ankeny, Iowa.

NCFC and its members, the report indicates, maintain that the officials holding the workshops must realize that the Capper-Volstead Act, which provides limited antitrust immunity to farmers forming co-ops, is a cornerstone to ensuring competition in agriculture and a vibrant rural economy. Without Capper-Volstead, farmer co-ops could not exist, and any two farmers coming together to talk about price would face harsh civil and criminal antitrust penalties.

"The DOJ/USDA hearings on antitrust in agriculture may seem harmless, but I can tell you thisthe officials with DOJ are questioning the very foundation of farmer cooperativesthe Capper-Volstead Act," Conner said. "Our job is to tell the true stories of co-ops, and the benefits that they provide to their farmer-owners, to their local rural communities, and to consumers in the U.S. and around the world. In doing this, we aim to ensure that our children and grandchildren can continue farming in partnership with their co-ops."

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The answer is the goal of a new campaign by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC). The group recently launched a program to "tell the story of this country's 2,500 farmer cooperatives to policy makers, government officials and the American public."

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