South Dakotans Attending National Farmers Union Convention in Springfield, Mass.

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National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson convened th general session of the NFU convention Sunday. The keynot speaker of the morning was U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. "By failing to pass a five-year farm bill, Congress is tapping the breaks on the momentum that has been building in rural America," Merrigan said. "We need a farm bill, and we need it now." 

Merrigan also noted in her address that as U.S. farmers and ranchers become more active with consumers, they will "gain more appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice that goes into producing our food."

Convention attendees also heard about the future of rural broadband and other initiatives from Ramona Carlow, AT&T vice president of public policy.

Young leaders of the NFU National Youth Advisory Council also address the crowd about their endeavors in Farmers Union and agriculture.

"It was encouraging to hear from the Deputy Secretary that the USDA continues to promote the importance of Congress passing a five-year farm bill as soon as possible," said NFU President Johnson. "Today we gained perspective from leaders in the industry and our own future leaders."

"Later in the day, educational breakout sessions were held on the changing marketplace, conservation compliance and Farmers Union's involvement in international agriculture.

"The educational sessions are an opportunity for our members to gain insight from an array of experts and industry leaders," said Johnson.

The afternoon concluded with tours and Farmers Union history presentations. The NFU Foundation also held its annual "Evening for Education," to benefit Farmers Union educational activities later this evening.

For more on the convention CLICK HERE or follow @nfudc or @sdfarmersunion on Twitter.

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