Following the convention opening by the ILFU president, Norbert
Brauer, former Missouri Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell got the day's
proceedings off to a fiery start.
Maxwell, a staunch family farm
advocate, laid bare the threats facing America's dwindling crop of
family farmers in the form of ag concentration, monopolies, big
business and GMO crops. As a pig farmer, he knows firsthand the
challenges facing independent family operations, and his work in
promoting the interests of family farmers is tireless.
Maxwell's speech and the facts it highlighted were a strong call
to action for farmers who value their way of life, their health,
their children's future and the survival of family agriculture in
Other speakers on the agenda were Illinois state Rep. John D.
Cavaletto, National Farmers Union legislative representative Mike
Stranz and University of Tennessee economist Daryll Ray.
Dr. Ray, director of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center and
writer of the popular Policy Pennings column, detailed the movement
of global ag markets and their influence on local producers. He
focused on explaining the shifts in production points across the
globe and assessed the impact of multinational conglomerates on the
Cavaletto's talk was highlighted by his longtime support for
family farmers as well as his efforts in making their voices heard
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In convention business, delegates voted unanimously to retain the
present board and officers. Brauer will lead ILFU for 2014.
"Illinois Farmers Union is on the growth path," said Brauer.
"Over the past 12 months we have entered into a phase of
regeneration and will be doing much work in 2014 to bring our
message of sustainable family agriculture to farmers in Illinois.
The future of family agriculture is under immense pressure, and we
have an obligation to protect our heritage from the threat of
globalization and industrialization."
[Text from file received from the