The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives will launch a campaign to tell the story of this country's 2500 farmer cooperatives. Based around the theme of "Farmer Cooperatives: Providing for America", the campaign will emphasize the central role co-ops play in preserving the family farm, supporting the rural economy, and bringing innovative products to consumers in the U.S. and around the world.
The campaign will be launched during the first Department of Justice/USDA workshop on antitrust issues in agriculture on March 12 in Ankeny, Iowa. NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner says that officials with DOJ are questioning the very foundation of farmer cooperatives, the Capper-Volstead Act.
"Our job is to tell the true stories of co-ops," Connor said. "We aim to ensure that our children and grandchildren can continue farming in partnership with their co-ops."
NCFC and its members maintain that officials holding the workshops must realize that the Capper-Volstead Act, which provides limited antitrust immunity to farmers forming co-ops, is a cornerstone to ensuring competition in agriculture and a vibrant rural economy. Without Capper-Volstead, farmer co-ops could not exist, and any two farmers coming together to talk about price would face harsh civil and criminal antitrust penalties.