GROWERS LOOKING OUT FOR GROWERS
Serving Agriculture Since 1971
History of the League
In 1971, a small group of Japanese-American growers met near Fresno to discuss the mounting problems being faced by California agriculture. It was a turbulent time. The newly formed United Farm Workers labor union was increasing pressure on farms throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Growers were struggling daily with picketing, boycotts and changes to the state labor law. The group talked about the need to unify growers and to establish a rapid-response support network to protect property and insure grower rights. Within months more growers joined the discussion, a meeting was held and an organization was formed, taking its name from the term for second-generation Japanese-American or “Nisei” farmers.
Eventually, more growers joined the discussion, a meeting was held and the organization was formed, taking its name from the term for second-generation Japanese-American, or “Nisei” farmers.
As a “mutual protection society”, the early Nisei Farmers League proved effective in defending the rights and property of its grower members. Membership swelled and soon the Nisei members were outnumbered by growers from many other nationalities. The violence and threats of the seventies eventually subsided but the idea of grower unification strengthened. The NFL quickly evolved into a sophisticated grower support organization committed to giving its membership a strong, informed voice in dealing with a growing array of issues. Today, from the fields of the San Joaquin Valley to the halls of government, the Nisei Farmers League is well-respected for its tireless commitment to serving the needs of its grower members and all of California agriculture.
House Agriculture Committee Leaders Support Agreement to Avoid Cuts and Crop Insurance
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson issued the following statements after announcing an agreement to avoid the cuts to crop insurance which are included in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 scheduled for a vote later today.
Chairman Conaway said, “I want to thank my colleagues who have made it very clear over the last 24 hours that the attempt to gut crop insurance in the budget agreement was not acceptable. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers did their part in reigning in our nation’s debt in the 2014 farm bill, saving an estimated $23 billion. It is imperative that we do not undermine their trust by attacking the primary tool they use to manage the tremendous risks involved in producing food and fiber.
“Leadership has heeded our concerns by agreeing to completely reverse this disastrous provision in the upcoming omnibus. Crop insurance is working as intended, and private industry deserves to be lauded, not thrown under the bus. I take our leadership at their word when they committed to me and many of my colleagues that we will eliminate these harmful provisions in the not-so-distant future, which is why I will vote in support of the budget agreement today. I encourage my rural-minded colleagues to follow suit and put their support behind this agreement by passing the budget deal on the floor today. While not the easiest path forward, this is a win for rural America and should be viewed as such.
“I will continue fighting against policies that hurt our farmers and ranchers, and I am thankful to leadership for working with us to avoid these harmful cuts.”
Ranking Member Collin Peterson said, “I’m pleased that we have an agreement to fix the crop insurance cuts and not open the farm bill. We have assurances that the cuts will be removed and the farm bill will not be raided. We produced a fiscally responsible and bipartisan farm bill in 2014 that saved $23 billion. We’ve done our part. I can now support the Budget Agreement with these assurances.”
This article was re-printed with the permission of California Women for Agriculture. It appeared in the October 29, 2015 edition of the CWA eHarvest News.
LABOR & IMMIGRATION.
Complex labor regulations and related workplace issues are a reality of California agriculture today. The NFL staff maintains an up-to-date working knowledge of these issues and assists our members in understanding and staying in compliance with these sometimes daunting regulations and requirements.
For several years the NFL has actively represented grower interests regarding environmental issues and regulations. In addition to our efforts in the legislative arena, we work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, California…
Information, knowledge, and understanding are key elements in the Nisei Farmers League (NFL) strategy to help our grower members succeed in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. Our membership is kept informed by personal contact from staff, meetings, and seminars. Complicated issues are presented in a clear, understandable format. Changes in regulations or requirements are disseminated on a timely basis. Every effort is made to assure our growers are kept up-to-date and informed.
HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION
The NFL works with legislators and agency officials in an effort to achieve realistic regulations regarding working hours and transportation, keeping these services affordable and practical for our growers.
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