For more than four decades, Communicating for America has fought for these resolutions. They are the pillars of what CA stands for, the issues around which CA members unite to create thunder and meaningful change.
Regardless of whether you are a producer, processor, wholesaler, retailer or most importantly, a consumer, your daily life is affected by American agriculture from the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, to the quality of life you live. CA will continue to promote an agriculture and consumer policy that encourages and promotes the well-being of family farmers, ranchers, small businesses and consumers in rural America.
CA will continue to work with all levels of government to provide incentinves and programs for beginning farmers, ranchers, small businesses in rural America and self-employed individuals.
CA seeks cooperation between private organizations and all levels of goverbnment to promote community development that will enhance family farms, ranches and small businesses across America. CA supports new uses or renewable resources to fuel economic development.
CA seeks health care and health insurance programs that are administered and maintained by the private sector with legislation enacted only to ensure that all Americans are guaranteed a minimum standard of health care and insurance at a reasonable cost, regardless of health or age.
CA will work to ensure that agricultural land will be owned and agri-business operated by family farmers and ranchers.
CA will work to strengthen services vital to family farms, ranches, small businesses and the self-employed.
CA will make every effort to preserve and improve our education system, which is a vital asset to our country. Distance learning, apprenticeship training, and similar programs will improve the lives of our youth.
Expanding international understanding through international exchange programs, including apprenticeship training, will improve the lives of our youth in America and the world.
Knowing young people represent the future of America, CA supports activities that broaden opportunities for youth in all communities.
CA supports and endorses programs that will provide benefits to improve the quality of life for senior citizens.
CA seeks to provide pathways for legal immigration to support the US agricultural sector. CA further promotes international travel as a further pathway to international understanding.
Milt Smedsrud and the founders of CA wanted farmers, self-employed people and rural small businesses to have a strong voice and group purchasing power just like the employees of large businesses. In 1972, Milt founded what was then known as the Creamery Association (CA) in Fergus Falls, Minn. The CA Scholarship and Education Foundation were established in 1981, followed by the CA Exchange Program (CAEP) in 1985. Today, CAEP is one of the largest agricultural exchange programs in the United States. Milt currently serves as CA’s chairman of the board and chief executive officer. He and his wife, Birgitta, also own and operate the Smedsrud family farm.
Wayne Nelson is a grain farmer from Winner, S.D. Wayne has served on the board of directors of CA since 1985. In 1993, he was elected president of CA and has served in that capacity ever since. Wayne spends much of his time traveling to Washington, D.C., and state capitals doing legislative and policy work on behalf of the members of CA.
Roger Gussiaas and his family grow soybeans, spring wheat, barley oil and confectionery sunflowers, yellow flax and niger thistle on their Carrington, N.D., farm. Roger is the vice president of CA, the director of the Oil Seed Growers LLC, director of the Spring Wheat Bakers and former director of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association. He received the National Outstanding Young Farmer award in 1992. www.healthyoilseeds.com
David Ramey is the owner, with his wife, Carla, and winemaker of Ramey Wine Cellars. Previously, David directed viticulture and winemaking for Rudd Estate and Dominus in the Napa Valley, and Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek wineries in Sonoma County. David and Carla live with their children, Alan and Claire, in Glenn Ellen, Calif., in the heart of the Valley of the Moon. www.rameywine.com
Stephen Rufer is CA’s vice president and general counsel. Steve is a practicing attorney and lives with his wife, Sandy, in Fergus Falls, Minn. He is a certified civil trial specialist and is on the state Supreme Court roster of approved mediators and arbitrators. Steve’s hobbies include biking, water sports and flying — he is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor. He has three adult children, Emily, Sam and Tom. Steve is active in the community and is currently president of Lake Region Healthcare Corporation. He is also a past president of CA.
Ben Schierer is CA's vice president of government relations and also serves as the director of the CA Scholarship and Education Foundation. Prior to joining CA, Ben served on the Fergus Falls City Council from 2005-2009, where he served as acting mayor and chairman of the Finance and Personnel committee. Ben and his wife, Tessa, and their 5 children live in Fergus Falls, Minn. He is very active in his community, and has served on the board of directors for a number of community non-profit organizations including A Center for the Arts, Kaddatz Galleries, Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, Federated Church and PEG Access Television.