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MFU members meet with lawmakers in Washington

WASHINGTON -- Michigan Farmers Union (MFU) members and more than 270 fellow farmers, ranchers and fishermen from across the country met in Washington, D.C., Sept. 16-18 for the National Farmers Union annual Fall Legislative Fly-In.

"Meeting with our representatives in Congress allowed us to personalize the issues currently affecting rural Americans," said MFU President, Bob Thompson. Thompson, Vice-President Jeff VanNortwick, Board member Brian Shultz and Josh Shultz - MFU member and Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) representative - made the trip to advocate for Michigan family farmers in D.C.

"This was especially important considering the fact that important legislation is under attack and several massive trade agreements are in the works. Having the opportunity to voice our concerns directly to policymakers is one of the most important ways we can make a difference for all family farmers and ranchers."

Farmers Union Fly-In participants highlighted the importance of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS),trade issues, and other policies that impact their operations and lives.

Fly-in participants also presented the organization's highest honor, the Golden Triangle Award, to a bipartisan group of 36 senators and representatives who have demonstrated leadership on issues relevant to America's family farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Members accepted the awards at a reception on Thursday night at the Stewart Mott House in Washington, D.C.

Among those awarded were Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow for their commitment to Michigan's family farmers.