NFCA advances support for 2025 International Year of Cooperatives at National Farmers Union convention

New England Delegates to the National Farmers Union Convention: Rebecca White (Hanover Co-op Food Stores), Mary Castonguay (dairy farmer and Organic Valley member), Zoe Fox (New England Consulting Services) and Roger Noonan (NEFU president).

In March, members of the New England Farmers Union—including representatives from your Neighboring Food Co-ops—attended the 122nd Convention of the National Farmers Union, participating in dialogs on family farming, food system policy and the cooperative movement.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) closed its 2024 Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona by adopting the organization’s grassroots policy book, laying the foundation for advocating on behalf of family farmers and ranchers across the country. Convention delegates also adopted six special orders of business focused on issues of particular importance in the coming year. For example, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is an affiliate member of the New England Farmers Union and helped develop a statement supporting the declaration of 2025 as the Second International Year of Co-ops, which was approved unanimously by the gathering.

“With a projected decline in commodity prices, continued high input costs, increasingly extreme weather events and an unpredictable policy and political environment, 2024 will be a pivotal year for family farmers and ranchers,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “With our member-driven policy priorities set, NFU is perfectly positioned to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities navigate the challenges ahead.”

Following a full program of speakers and sessions, delegates took part in the democratic policy debate that is fundamental to Farmers Union’s structure. This grassroots process informs NFU’s advocacy work throughout the year.

“There’s something magical about the cooperation that has grown alongside National Farmer’s Union’s membership and policy book,” said Rebecca White, Public & Government Affairs Associate, Hanover Co-op Food Stores, NH & VT. “The organization tackles policy head on and brings the realities and needs of family farmers and ranchers into focus for policy makers. This is a critical part of improving farm viability and creating strong food systems.”

During the policy debate, delegates approved six special orders of business:

You can make a difference – Join the Farmers Union!

The Neighboring Food Co-op Association is an affiliate member of the New England Farmers Union, and invites farmers, food co-ops, and consumers to join us! NFCA Member Co-ops and individual members can join at a special discount. The National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice. For more information, please visit

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