Farmers Union donates $125,000 to Ukraine relief
Last updated 5/4/2022 at 8:24am
from National Farmers Union
National Farmers Union and Farmers Union Enterprises are donating $125,000 to humanitarian and agricultural relief efforts in Ukraine. Farmers Union Enterprises is owned by the state Farmers Union organizations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, and Montana.
The contribution was directed through World Food Program USA, the U.S.-based non-profit arm of the United Nations World Food Programme, which is on the ground in Ukraine, providing critical food assistance to the millions impacted by the war. As of April 13, the WFP had distributed about $1.2 million in the Ukraine in addition to providing emergency food rations.
“The war in Ukraine is devastating hundreds of thousands of families, driving them from their homes and into hunger,” NFU President Rob Larew said. “While the scope of the humanitarian crisis is immense, American family farmers and ranchers want to help in the best way we know how: to provide food and humanitarian aid to those around the world who need it.
“As the full effects of the invasion of Ukraine are felt throughout the global food system, reserves and food programs will be stretched thin,” he continued. “From the beginning, NFU has been committed to the cooperative principles, one of which is ‘concern for community.’ For our organization, that concern extends around the world and to our fellow farmers in a major agricultural country, Ukraine.”
Ukraine is a top producer and exporter of corn, sunflower seed, wheat, rapeseed, barley and sunflower meal. Its climate is similar to that of Kansas. About 103 million acres are classified as agricultural land in Ukraine. For comparison, Minnesota has 26 million acres of agricultural land.
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reported on April 19 that $115 million is needed to prevent a further deterioration of the food insecurity situation in Ukraine. Farmers need support to plant potatoes and vegetables this spring and bring in their winter wheat.
“Farming is hard enough when facing natural disasters. No farmer should have to face the daunting task of defending their farm against an invasion. Ukrainian ag operations are being bombed and their roads are becoming impassable,” Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer said.
“This donation is the least we can do to help them survive these turbulent times. My heart goes out to Ukraine and the men and women working to continue producing food even while they are fighting for their lives,” Schweitzer added.
“As Minnesota farmers and gardeners prepare to plant seeds this spring, I’m thinking about the farmers and gardeners in Ukraine who are eager to plant seeds too,” Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish said. “Family farmers across the globe are united in our desire to grow food for our families and feed the hungry. As this senseless war drags on, it’s imperative for Farmers Union to support family farmers in Ukraine and we ask you to consider donating as well.”
NFU has partnered with World Food Program USA to set up a fundraising campaign for other organizations and individuals to contribute to the relief efforts in Ukraine, which can be found at https://secure.wfpusa.org/NFU .
In difficult times, NFU has stood with farmers in need around the world. NFU was a founding member of the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe — CARE — in the aftermath of World War II.