NFU History in the Making

For more than 50 years, the National Farmers Union members have been on the front lines, defending farmers’ interests and advocating for better ways. The NFU has taken on — and very often won — the difficult but critical struggles within the Canadian agricultural and food systems.

This booklet, prepared for the NFU’s 50th anniversary celebrations, highlights the impact of the members of the NFU — farm families and their urban allies — have made since 1969, including: blocking the introduction of GM wheat, gaining recognition for the contribution of farm women, defending Canadians’ rights to save seeds, keeping GM dairy hormones out of Canadian milk, defending supply management and fighting for the CWB, winning changes to our tax systems, and stopping railway attempts to raise grain freight rates.

Within Canada and internationally, the NFU is making a difference on the front line issues of our times. NFU members have been advocating for climate change action for twenty years. Our leaders were key to developing and spreading the ideas of Food Sovereignty and Agroecology, and they provided in-depth analysis of trade deal implications for farmers and larger society. The NFU shared knowledge of our supply management system to struggling dairy farmers in the USA and Europe. Our members stand in solidarity with indigenous land protectors and migrant farm workers within Canada and abroad. The NFU is pushing back against landgrabbing by farmland investment corporations and advocating for policies that would rebuild the farm population and bring better quality of life to rural communities.

NFU members of all ages are working to create the conditions for with young and new farmers to succeed and in turn be able to pass their own legacy of accomplishments on to future generations. Over the past five decades, the work of the NFU has put billions of dollars into the pockets of family farmers across Canada, countered rural isolation and created a positive vision for our common future. We can look back with pride, and look forward to the next 50 years knowing we will face serious challenges as well as many opportunities for NFU members to work together building stronger communities and advocating for sound policies that will support sustainable farms.