MFU calls for support in 2021 legislative session
The 2021 Montana legislative session officially began last week. Montana Farmers Union has outlined its legislative priorities for the session. “I look forward to working on behalf of MFU members this session,” said President Walter Schweitzer. “The option to testify remotely changes the landscape. It gives members regardless of their geographic location the option to participate in the legislative process. Grassroots advocacy is what MFU is all about.”
The organization’s 2021 Organizational Priorities and Special Orders of Business were approved by delegates to the 106th Annual MFU Convention last November. They include:
- Country-of-Origin Labeling
- Corporate Monopolies
- Climate Change
- Right to Repair
- Food Security for Us
- Meat Processing Curriculum
The organizational priorities will guide MFU’s legislative work in 2021 at the state and federal level.
MFU’s top legislative priorities for the 2021 session are Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) and Right to Repair.
LC3071 is sponsored by Frank Smith: When Congress repealed COOL for beef and pork in 2015 it allowed Multinational packers to start labeling beef and pork imported from foreign countries with a Product of USA label – allowing unfettered use of the USDA stamp which misleads consumers. MFU is working with Representatives Frank Smith (HD 31) to sponsor a bill in the legislative session that will allow the consumers to know where their beef and pork was born, raised and harvested. There is a federal effort underway to address provisions within the federal “Product of USA” bill to address definitions for beef and pork that are born, raised and harvested in the United States. Montana Farmers Union supports a state Product of the USA resolution because consumers have the right to know where their meat comes from and ranchers deserve a fair market price for their products.”
LC1562 is sponsored by Rep. Katie Sullivan (HD 89), Sen. Mark Sweeny (SD 39), Rep. Willis Curdy (HD 98): Montana Farmers Union demands the right to repair our own equipment. Equipment manufacturers refuse access or charge exorbitant prices for technical advisor software needed to troubleshoot equipment. Almost all newer equipment utilizes electronic control units to control equipment operation. Without the software and hardware needed to troubleshoot farmers and ranchers are forced to use the dealer for minor and major repairs. The cost of repairs and downtime has a severe impact on our bottom line and adds undue stress to our lives.
Additionally, MFU has established the legislative Ag Ambassadors program. This program provides training and resources for members interested in participating in the 2021 legislative session. As part of this training MFU held the webinar: “Your Voice in the Legislature 101.” This webinar was hosted by MFU staff and outlines the steps for testifying and volunteering in the legislative process. The advocacy training webinar is available at montanafarmersunion.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for legislative updates!