About NFU
Learn more about the history, principles and mission of National Farmers Union.

History

NFU was founded by ten local farmers in 1902 as the Farmers Educational Cooperative Union of America in Point, Texas.
 After its founding, NFU advocated for increased co-operative rights, fair market access for farmers, direct election of senators and voting rights for women. These efforts also led to the enactment of the Federal Farm Loan Act, which established twelve Federal Land Banks. NFU has always worked to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, fishers, ranchers and rural communities through the advocacy of  policy positions developed by the grassroots membership and adopted as official policy at our national convention. National Farmers Union helps the family farmer address profitability issues and monopolistic practices.

In 1931 the organization established the Farmers Union Central Exchange, which would later become Cenex Harvest States. During the 1940s, NFU campaigned to make school lunches permanent, and was a founding member of Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE). In 1966, NFU worked to fight poverty by founding Green Thumb (now known as Experience Works), which secures employment for low-income and older workers. During the 1970s, NFU was influential in the development of rural health systems, and was also included as part of the World Hunger Action Council. In 1980, the organization advocated for the implementation of a capital gains tax on foreigner owners of US farmland.
In 1982, NFU was influential in getting a portion of the military budget shifted to humanitarian food aid using commodity surpluses from the US. In 1990, the organization pushed for increased regulation of organics, including the creation of a national standard for what production practices qualify as organic. In 2002, NFU was one of the leaders of a coalition of 165 farm and consumer groups that helped establish mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL).

NFU represents family farmers, fishers and ranchers across the country, with formally 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. Vibrant rural communities, in turn, are vital to the health, security and economic well-being of our entire national economy.
Missouri Farmers Union