Never mind the Nazis, Local Councils are now the biggest enemy to farming in the UK




Wheat field in summer, blue skies, the harvest


What could be more beautiful than a field of ripening wheat on a glorious summers day, blue skies and a combine harvester that runs on clean electricity. Could that ever happen with our crusty farmers in love with diesel. Happen or not, it should be an EU directive that harvesting is subject to emission controls. A freshly baked loaf of bread would then taste all the better.





Farmers' interests are best served by remaining in the European Union, the National Farmers' Union has said.

It passed a resolution following an "overwhelming" vote in favour of staying in the EU, which it said was based on the "balance of existing evidence".

The union - which has 55,000 members in England and Wales - announced its position after a vote by its council. However, the NFU said it would not be actively campaigning in the referendum.

It said its council members looked at a number of issues, including the impact leaving the EU would have on agricultural trade and the availability of labour.

It has also completed 28 roadshows to debate key farming issues in the referendum with members, and sent two reports to its members. The organisation said it was not joining any campaign groups and would not be telling its members how to vote.
'Overwhelming' vote

The union has not released how each of its 90 council members voted. However, its president, Meurig Raymond, said there had been an "overwhelming" vote in favour of staying in the EU.

"We believe it's for the betterment of the future of British agriculture," he said.

"On all the surveys we have done in the NFU, the majority believe that we should stay in."

He added: "We have had 28 meetings across the country in the last three weeks.

"We have spoken to three or four thousand people. So the delegates here today brought the views from those meetings to our council meeting."


While the NFU doesn't represent all farmers, this decision will be influential.

As an established well-funded organisation, the NFU has access to information and expert advice that the average farmer doesn't have time to seek out.

The debate in the council chamber was impassioned, with members talking about what the decision could mean for the future of their children.

The judgement will also play an important part in the wider European debate. Over the last few weeks key figures from both sides of the referendum campaign have been on the phone to the NFU asking for updates, keen to know what side they will come down on.

Now, everyone knows what the council thinks - it's now down to the farmers to decide.

The NFU says more than 70% of full-time farmers in England and Wales are members.

The resolution comes after the NFU in Scotland and the Tenant Farmers' Association both expressed support for remaining in the EU.

However, farming minister George Eustice, who wants to leave the EU, said "virtually every problem that the NFU complain to me about is a direct consequence of dysfunctional EU law".

He said farmers who "want to see change and a better future" should vote to leave.

Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron, who is campaigning to remain in the EU, warned British agriculture would suffer if the UK votes to leave the union.

He said farmers could lose as much as £330m on lamb and beef exports if Britain were to leave.

However, former environment secretary Owen Paterson has said Britain's farmers would be better off outside the EU.

The Conservative MP said Britain would then be free to set its own subsidies and its own environment policies.



NFU DISCRIMINATION - Why would the NFU object to any media article about themselves let alone take the time to write to a member and threaten that member with legal action? We will be reporting on the developments on this story as they occur.






WASHINGTON (December 8, 2016) – National Farmers Union announced that registration is open for its 115th Anniversary Convention. The conference, which gathers family farmers and ranchers from across the country, industry professionals and notable speakers, will be held March 5-8th, 2017 at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego, Calif.

The state of the farm economy and the upcoming Farm Bill will be a primary focus for the convention’s keynote speakers and panel discussions, while an agricultural tour day will focus on local agriculture and cooperative learning.

“Our convention provides our members and attendees the opportunity to learn, collaborate and grow through thoughtful discussions, breakout sessions and farm tours. We are pleased to offer attendees new learning opportunities this year while maintaining a focus on the issues that matter most to our family farmers and ranchers, such as the economy and defending the farm safety net,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We look forward to hosting our members and the industry in San Diego!”

Attendees can also register for the NFU Women’s Conference, which will be held prior to this year’s anniversary convention on March 4th and 5th. The Women’s Conference will host many inspired and diverse speakers touching on the topics of leadership development, finances, generational transitions and more.

To register or learn more about the 115th Anniversary Convention, visit the NFU convention website at

More information on the 2017 NFU Women’s Conference is available at:






The National Farmers' Union has backed Sainsbury's in its row with supermarket rival Tesco over its Price Promise promotion.

Martin Haworth, the NFU's director of policy, said it is "wrong and misleading" to compare the price of ham from Europe with ham produced in the UK.

Tesco’s Price Promise promotion pledges to match the price of own-brand products at rival supermarkets or compensate customers with vouchers.

However, Sainsbury's complained to the Advertising Standards Authority over the campaign, claiming that it was impossible to compare certain own-brand items. As an example, Sainsbury’s said its bananas are Fair Trade, while Tesco’s are not, and that its cheapest cooked ham is entirely sourced from Britain, while Tesco’s is not.

In response, Sainsbury's has launched a marketing campaign with the title "same price, different values".

The ASA has backed Tesco's campaign. However, the NFU's comments are a blow to Tesco as it seeks to develop its relations with British farmers. The company has just hired Tom Hind, the corporate affairs director at the NFU, to become its director of agriculture.

Mr Haworth said: "We can only applaud Sainsbury’s for promoting its use of British-sourced produce. Comparing EU ham with ham produced in Britain is wrong and misleading to consumers.

“The NFU wants to work with all retailers to build stronger working relationships that back British farming. From our own research this year with One Poll, 78pc of consumers thought supermarkets should stock more British food and 42pc of people said they were more likely to buy more traceable food produced on British farms.

"It is up to everyone to work together to ensure we get more British food on more British plates.”

In a blog on Tesco’s website about Price Promise, David Wood, the company's UK marketing director, said: "The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled in our favour on an attempt to block Price Promise. Their verdict on the key challenge was: 'While we acknowledged there would be differences in animal welfare and country of origin for the ingredients, we were satisfied that Tesco had taken those elements into account when identifying and matching products and had compared on the basis of them meeting the same need.'" 





The National Farmers Union (NFU) in the United Kingdom is a member organisation/industry association for farmers in England and Wales. It is the largest farmers organisation in England and Wales, and has over 300 branch offices.

The National Farmers Union was begun by a group of nine Lincolnshire farmers and, as the "Lincolnshire Farmers Union", held its first meeting in 1904. By 1908 they were called the National Farmers Union and were meeting in London. During the Second World War, the NFU worked hand in glove with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to ensure food security. Rationing continued after the war and it is a measure of the NFU's influence at that time that the Agriculture Act 1947 committed the government to undertake a national review of the industry every year in consultation with the NFU.

The close relationship between the NFU and the MAFF continued until New Labour reformed the MAFF into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2001, and indeed the MAFF was sometimes called the "Political wing of NFU". Defra is seen as more independent, although the NFU does remain a powerful and effective lobbying body that wields considerable influence in proportion to the industry's economic value. This arrangement could be described as an iron triangle.

The NFU is registered as an association of employers under the 1974 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act. In 2000 it founded Assured Food Standards.





The US NFU was founded as the Farmers Educational Cooperative Union of America in Point, Texas, to help the family farmer address profitability issues and monopolistic practices, National Farmers Union has been working to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

NFU represents farmers and ranchers in all states, with organized divisions in 33 states. The key to the success and credibility of the organization has been Farmers Union’s grassroots structure in which policy positions are initiated locally. The policy process includes the presentation of resolutions by individuals, followed by possible adoption of the resolutions at the local, state and national levels. Members and staff of the Farmers Union advocate these policy positions nationwide.

National Farmers Union believes that good opportunities in production agriculture are the foundation of strong farm and ranch families, and strong farm and ranch families are the basis for thriving rural communities.







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World War Two gun emplacements at Pevensey Levels


During the 2nd World War, the Pevensey Levels hosted an underground radar tracking station. The emplacements seen in the photograph above were to protect the early warning station from land attack. The underground installation was flooded the last time our local historian visited. These remains are of historic importance. The above ground buildings on the adjacent hill have been converted to residential use. Councils are laying siege to smallholdings, raising the costs of starting a farm. Is it any wonder that the UK is in the manure economically?



MEMBERSHIP CARD - This is what a membership card looks like. Watch it though, the NFU don't like it when members (or former members) tell anyone that they were or are members.





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Leadership and Board of Directors-Growth Energy

Dave Frederickson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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Minnesota Farmers Union site

North Dakota Farmers Union site

Pennsylvania Farmers Union site

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Wisconsin Farmers Union site









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