Close to 80 Oklahoma Farmers Union members will join hundreds of the nation's family farmers and ranchers, in Rochester, NY, March 2 to 5, for the National Farmers Union's 99th anniversary convention.

OFU President Ray L. Wulf, will lead the state delegation, as the general farm and ranch organization addresses needed policy changes to the 1996 farm law.

"Without question, until expanded trade opportunities return income to our producers, we must push for domestic policies that result in a family agriculture food system that protects our nation from dependence on foreign sources and multi-national companies for our food supply," said Wulf. "We will be working for farm policy that does that, but also fits within international trade policies."

On the final day of convention, delegates will consider and adopt the 2001 NFU policy program for the coming year. Farmers Union policy is formed at the grassroots level, adopted at state conventions and passed on to the national policy committee prior to the NFU convention.

In December, the NFU policy committee met, in Minneapolis, MN to begin policy discussions. Oklahoma's member of policy committee, Joe Ed Kinder, Frederick, advocated OFU's positions. Kinder, brought resolutions from the state level on domestic farm policy, estate tax and concentration. In addition, members of the OFU delegation will appear before the committee, in New York, to ask for additional policy considerations.

"Reforms must occur in estate taxes for family agriculture and small business. What we have now is not adequate for these groups, and we will be working in this arena as well," Wulf said.

Oklahoma Farmers Union represents 116,000 family farmers, ranchers and other rural citizens and is a member of National Farmers Union, which represents 300,000 nationwide.

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