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NFFC elects Iowa's George Naylor president of 34 grassroots farm and rural groups' coaltion

(Friday, March 7, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- via The Agribusiness Examiner.

The National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) elected Iowa farmer George Naylor president February 17,2003, at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Naylor represents Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) on NFFCís Executive Committee. Naylor succeeded five-year president Bill Christison, a grain and cattle farmer from Chillicothe, Missouri.

"The slogan "Family farms, yes! Factory farms, no!" is often heard at Iowa CCI rallies and is shared by the thirty NFFC member groups from around the United States," Naylor said. "The slide toward corporate agriculture and the terrible social and environmental consequences we are witnessing in Iowa are apparent in other states in fact all over the world," stated Naylor.

Just like NFFC member groups, farm organizations in other countries recognize that todayís agricultural policies, particularly cheap grain policies like the latest U.S. farm bill, are outmoded if people want food produced from family farms, not corporate farms and animal factories. New thinking for agricultural policy is sweeping the world and participation in international farm coalitions, along with grassroots activism in the U.S. countryside, is giving the NFFC the potential for real change in the direction of farm policies.

"Itís been said that the solutions for democracy simply involve more democracy," Naylor said. "And whether itís the U.S. Congress or the World Trade Organization (WTO), family farmers and consumers must elevate their voices over the din of big business lobbyists."

NFFC and its member groups have urged every family farmer and consumer to tell their members of Congress that international free trade of food does not make sense for farm prosperity or for a safe and healthy food supply.

"Are the values of democracy, individual enterprise and responsibility compatible with current trade agreements and industrialized agriculture?" Naylor inquired. "No," he quickly answered, "and we donít have to put up with it anymore!"

NFFC member groups prioritized several vital issues relating to the corporate takeover of agriculture at its annual meeting. Near the top of NFFC groupsí list is coordination with Senator Grassley to enact a national ban on ownership of livestock by meat packers. The coalition is also working to establish a "Contractorís Bill of Rights," but aims to bring livestock ownership and production back to family farms.

Another pressing issue at NFFC is its active dairy groups that demand solutions to the nationís severely depressed milk prices. The NFFC dairy task force, aside from striving for better dairy legislation, declared a Kraft Foods North America Inc. boycott for its illegal use of imported "Milk Protein Concentrate" (MPC) in making cheese. Dairy groupsí complaints resulted in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sending a letter to Kraft demanding the cessation of this practice. So far, Kraftís response has been to re-label its "processed cheese food" as "processed cheese product" in an attempt to circumvent the law.

NFFC member groups in the Great Plains are working to stop the introduction of Roundup Ready wheat into their states. Flour millers in Europe and Asia announced at public hearings that once this genetically engineered wheat is introduced, all wheat from these states will not be bought, making their wheat only good for hog feed. "Weíve got enough hog feed already, and the family farmers and consumers must work together to regain control of their food system," concluded Naylor.

The National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), founded in 1986, brings together farmers and others to organize national projects focused on preserving and strengthening family farms. The organizationís mission is to serve as a national link for grassroots organizations working on family farm issues. NFFC membership currently consists of 34 grassroots farm, resource conservation, and rural advocacy groups from 32states.

Advocating opposition towards agriculture vertical integration, NFFC also correlates grass roots efforts for the following issues: farmer pricing agencies and true farmer-owned cooperatives; farm and trade policy centered on cost of production plus profit pricing at the farm level; environmental stewardship; an affordable food supply; educational campaigns about biotechnology and corporate control of food production; and petition campaigns to repeal mandatory federal producer checkoffs.

For further information about the organization, call 1-800-639-3276 or visit http://www.nffc.net .