Washington, D.C.—“As the U.S. Department of Agriculture celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding today, America’s farmer-owned cooperatives join in marking the occasion by applauding USDA’s continued contributions to the health and strength of our country. USDA is truly, as President Lincoln called it, the ‘People’s Department,’ touching the lives of not only farmers and ranchers but of every American consumer.
“Farmer co-ops and USDA share a long, proud history of working to improve the lives of producers and rural communities across the country. We look forward to continuing this partnership as we look to the future and work on ways of answering the challenge facing agriculture, or perhaps all of humanity—producing enough food to feed a world population estimated to be 9 billion by mid-century.
“On a more personal note, it was my great honor to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Acting Secretary of Agriculture during the Bush Administration and I was proud, continue to be proud, of the hard work and dedication of the thousands of USDA employees who have helped to make American agriculture a tremendous success story.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.