Washington, DC (December 17, 2008)—“The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) would like to congratulate former Governor Tom Vilsack on his nomination as the next Secretary of Agriculture, and we look forward to working with him as he begins the process of Senate confirmation.
“During his tenure as governor of Iowa, he showed a deep commitment to the economic well being of the state’s farmers and ranchers, to building vibrant rural communities, and to recognizing the important role that agricultural producers play in environmental stewardship.
“If confirmed as secretary, Governor Vilsack will play a vital role in implementing and administering the provisions contained in the 2008 farm bill. NCFC and its members stand ready to work with the new secretary and others in the administration to ensure the continued competitiveness of American agriculture.
“We also hope to work with the next secretary to emphasize the important role that agricultural cooperatives and their producer-owners play in helping to create an economically and socially vibrant rural America. These unique, farmer-controlled businesses offer individual farmers and ranchers the ability to compete effectively in the global economy and maximize farm income from the marketplace.
“Farmer cooperatives are also leaders in their communities, and have a significant economic impact in rural America beyond just the farmers and ranchers who own the cooperative. They provide jobs for hundreds of thousands of citizens in rural America, and devote time and money to a wide range of local charitable organizations.
“In the next Administration, NCFC will continue to work with USDA and other groups to achieve the goal of a farmer-focused, economically viable, and globally competitive agricultural sector.”
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.