WASHINGTON (Sept. 21, 2005) — Texas Farmers Union members joined more than 200 farmers and ranchers from across the country in Washington, D.C., this past week for National Farmers Union’s legislative fly-in. Participants urged members of Congress to address rising energy prices, support disaster relief and oppose budget cuts in agricultural spending.
“Being able to meet with members of Congress and explain, face-to-face, the challenges farmers and ranchers face in the field every single day is imperative in securing agriculture’s future,” said TFU President Wes Sims.
Fly-in participants asked Congress to address rising energy prices. Farmers and ranchers are among the largest seasonal fuel users in the United States and face significant increases in operating expenses. Unlike other businesses, farmers and ranchers cannot pass along increased production costs, because they do not set the prices for their commodities.
“We’re feeling the crunch every single time we fill the tank,” said Sims. “Congress needs to act and address these rising energy prices posing a threat to our rural economy.”
National Farmers Union members joined Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., at a news conference in support of proposed steps to prevent price gouging at the pump.
Other issues addressed included proposed budget cuts to agriculture programs, mandatory country-of-origin labeling and a federally controlled National Animal ID System.
TFU members participating in the fly-in included: Burt and Denise Pruitt, Slidell; Latria and Wes Sims, Sweetwater; Jimmy and Pat West, Roxton; Shorty and Billy Miller, McGregor; and Cody, Mike and Pam Oldham, Howardwick.
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