Alfalfa is key to sustainable agricultural systems and is an economic engine in rual communities-its value for soil conservation, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, crop rotation, and wildlife habitat is unsurpassed. In terms of value, it is the nation’s third most valuable field crop following only corn and soybeans.
However, alfalfa must offer a competitive value for farmers in order to provide these benefits and maintain or expand acreage base. Yields of other major cropping choices have significantly surpassed alfalfa due, in part, to the vast amount of public research dedicated to these other crops.
It is for these reasons that the Independent Forage Growers are actively involved in the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance (or NAFA). NAFA is a non-profit organization comprised of all facets of the forage industry including genetic suppliers, seed growers, hay growers, equipment manufacturing, government and university scientists and experts and others within the industry that have come together in support of and to fight for research for the forage industry.
This week we are in Washington DC as a team meeting with congressional representatives to try to instill upon them the importance of forages and seek continued public research dollars to keep our crop competitive. This will be NAFA’s eight consecutive year in Washington DC.
So you can see, membership dues are not only used to help members find customers, but also to give us a seat at the national level to promote alfalfa and forages as an industry, to promote dairy and livestock growth in our own state and to promote alfalfa and forages in general.
If you would like more information on how you can be a member of the Independent Forage Growers, the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance or if you are looking for a good source for forages, please give me a call at 800-743-1649 or visit our website at IndependentForageGrowers.com.