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By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (January 16, 2014) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is pleased the United Nations declared 2014 as the International Year of the Family Farmer.


“As a family farmer, I am excited that we will be celebrating the benefits and importance of family farmers throughout the year, as we celebrate the International Year of the Family Farmer,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union.


Contributions from family farmers:

        • 16 million jobs are created by agriculture in the United States;
        • a farm food dollar is turned over seven times in our economy;
        • one American farmer feeds 155 people;
        • 20 percent of Minnesota’s economy is farm related; and
        • one of five jobs in Minnesota is connected to agriculture.


“Farming drives our state and nation. I am proud of our history as farmers, and proud to represent family farmers who have the ability to provide food, fuel, and fiber for the world. The history and tradition of farming demonstrates the important role of family farmers in a renewable economy; in fighting hunger; in helping the economy thrive; in providing food security; and in sourcing energy. Celebrating family farmers and what they do just makes sense,” said Peterson.


For more information on International Year of the Family Farmer,, or

By Communications Director

F.B Daniel, long-time Farmers Union employee and advocate has recently died.  He was a field representative and manager of member relations for Farmers Union Central Exchange, executive director for Iowa Farmers Union and staff of Minnesota Farmers Union for 14 years. 

The book, More Than a Farm Organization, Farmers Union in Minnesota, was a labor of love for F.B., and by all accounts, would not have been written if it wasn’t for F.B.’s perseverance and dedication.  In the book, former MFU & National Farmers Union President Cy Carpenter stated, “ In the history of Farmers Union and service to farm families and Cooperatives, no one has served with more commitment and personal contribution than F.B. Daniel… he is a model…”

MFU President Doug Peterson stated, "Thank you F.B. for your tireless work for family farmers and cooperatives everywhere. We thank you for your efforts and passion and are sad to see you go. You will be missed."

By Communications Director

Beef Checkoff LabelST. PAUL (December 12, 2013) – The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council (MBRPC) is proposing a voluntary beef check-off price increase of $1.00 per head. The current $1.00 per head check-off is split evenly between state and national beef promotion councils. The proposed increase would stay with the Minnesota Beef Council and would be used for promotion efforts in Minnesota only.

“Minnesota Farmers Union encourages all farmers and ranchers to vote, and to make sure their voice is heard,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President.

Minnesota farmers and rancher selling their livestock in Minnesota would be eligible to receive a refund of the automatic $1.00 per head increase if the referendum passes and they request it after the sale of their cattle. Producers will have a chance to review the proposal and share their feedback before the February, 2014 mail ballot election.

To ensure producers are on the list to receive a ballot by mail, they can request one in three ways.
• call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 651-201-6013; or
• call the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council at 952-854-6980.

Individuals must make the request by Friday, January 17, 2014.

By Intern

National Farmers Union Vice President of Government Affairs Chandler Goule gave a presentation at our State Convention about agriculture activities on the federal level.  Click here to see is his presentation.

By Communications Director

Steve Cattnach recieves award for Superior Service to Farmers Union from MFU President Doug PetersonMN Governor Mark Dayton talks to grandchildren of Superior Service Award Recipient Steve Cattnach
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013)  Minnesota Farmers Union honored Steve Cattnach of Luverne with the Superior Service to Farmers Union Award at their 72nd annual state convention.

“Steve understands the importance of family farmers and for over thirty years has worked tirelessly to make sure that family farmers, their families, and their livelihood, are covered when mother nature strikes, and protected when things aren’t going so well,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “I want to thank Steve for his dedicated service to Farmers Union, rural communities, and the people who live there. We are lucky to have him as part of our team."

Cattnach contracted with Farmers Union Agency on December 1, 1981 in Luverne, MN.  He has been very successful in his agency, winning many sales awards over his 33 years, and consistently in the top 3 of all agencies for premiums with the Farmers Union Agency.

Steve is active in the Luverne Lions Club; he serves on the board of trustees for the State on Minnesota Lions Clubs foundation for Diabetes.  He is active in his church and served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Rock County Farmers Union.

Steve and his wife Penny have three children, Bruce, Barb, and Jennifer, and five grandchildren.

By Communications Director

Gary Gregerson accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award from Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug PetersonST. PAUL (November 25, 2013)  Minnesota Farmers Union honored Gary Gregerson of Badger with their Lifetime Achievement Award at their 72nd annual state convention.

“Gary has been a dedicated and loyal Farmers Union member for years. You can always count on him to be there to fight for Farmers Union and what is important to our members by providing policy direction and old-fashioned, common-sense,  get-it-done work ethic,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “It is great to have him as a member and leader of Minnesota Farmers Union.”

 Gary has served as the Roseau County Farmers Union President since 1973 when he signed up for a 25-year membership.  He used to be a small grain farmer on the land where he was born and raised, but has since retired, still residing in the farm house where he grew up.

 Gary believes that the Farmers Union represents so much more than just Minnesota farmers.  He believes that the organization represents the best interests of the state.  Throughout his membership, he has seen a lot and learned a lot, finding MFU very rewarding.  He is proud to see a lot of young, passionate, new members.

He was on the Board of his local Farmers Union oil company for over thirty years, and is also a Legion member. Gary and his wife Michelle live in Badger.  They have three grown children, one grandchild with two more on the way!

By Communications Director

2014 Torchbearer Recipients; Laura Amacher, Haley Moseng, Caleb Schmitz, Jacob VanDerPol, Kaitlyn Kowalski, Meghan Osterbauer, Aandra Fitzer and Jake MagnellST. PAUL (November 25, 2013)  Minnesota Farmers Union gave out its Torchbearer award at their 72nd annual state convention.  In order to be eligible to win the Torchbearer Award, the youth needed to be involved with the Farmers Union education program for at least four years.  Each individual also attended the Farmers Union All-States Leadership Camp, which is where individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders meet with other Farmers Union youth from throughout the country in Bailey, Colorado at the National Farmers Union Education Center.

The award winners were: Jacob VanDerPol, son of Josh & Cindy VanDerPol from Kerkhoven; Aandra Fitzer, daughter of Betty & Rob Fitzer from North Oaks; KateLynn Kowalski, daughter of Mike & Mary Kowalski from East Grand Forks; Caleb Schmitz, son of Terry Schmitz & Bob Thompson from New London; Meghan Osterbauer, daughter of Tony & Janeen Osterbauer from De Graff; Jake Magnell, son of Toni Magnell from Oklee; Laura Amacher, daughter of John & Gina Amacher from St. Paul; Holly Ricard, daughter of Steve & Maureen Ricard from Benson; and Haley Moseng, daughter of Brent Moseng from Dawson.

“Receiving the Torchbearer Award is a great accomplishment and one that these youth should be greatly proud of,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President.  “I sincerely congratulate them on their achievement and thank them for being a dedicated member of the Minnesota Farmers Union family.”

Since the 1930's, becoming a Torchbearer marks the conclusion of a Farmers Union young person's work in the youth program, and the commencement of his/her participation in adult Farmers Union activities.

By Communications Director

Linda Larson & Brian Rohrenbach recieve Outstanding Leadership Award from MFU President Doug PetersonST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union honored Brian Rohrenbach and Linda Larson of Rosemount with the Outstanding Leadership Award at their 72nd annual state convention.

 “Brian and Linda are always willing to go the extra mile. You don’t even need to ask them, because they are already there helping out,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “One of Farmers Union’s strengths is its membership, and with dedicated leaders like Brian and Linda in our organization, we will continue to be strong. I want to thank them for their leadership and their dedication to Minnesota Farmers Union and family farmers.”

Brian was elected Dakota County Farmers Union President in 2005, and has attended the state and national conventions every year.  He has also served as a Minnesota Farmers Union delegate to the National Convention, served on the state policy committee, attended Lobby Days, and two DC fly-ins.  Brian was recognized at the National Convention last March for membership recruitment in 2012.

Linda currently serves on the Minnesota Farmers Union Policy Committee, the Membership Education Committee and actively works within her county to help members realize the vital role that each person has in voting and participating in Farmers Union and local government. She loves Farmers Union activities and has attended both the national and state conventions for the past several years, lobby day at the state capitol, the national and state Farmers Union Women’s Conferences, and the national fly-ins to Washington, D.C.

Brian and Linda live in rural Rosemount and have four adult children.  

By Communications Director

Minnesota Farmers Union's State Convention is set for Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24. The tentative agenda is below.

Friday, November 22
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.  - Welcome reception for MFU members hosted by Farmers Union Insurance Agency (Itasca Room)

Saturday, November 23

6:30 a.m. - Free farm-fresh breakfast for MFU members (Itasca Room; ends at 8:30 a.m.)

8:00 a.m. - Registration opens (Foyer)

8:45 a.m. - Door prizes
 - Convention convenes (Salon ABC);
 - Prayer lead by Gene Paul with NFO;
 - Pledge of Allegiance lead by Merlyn Hubin, Executive Board Chairman;
 - MFU camp songs;
 - Present & adopt proposed convention rules by Markell Vogt of the Rules Committee; andadopt minutes of 2012 convention
(9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.: AT&T phones for farmers, St. Paul Room)

9:15 a.m. - Doug Peterson, MFU President;

 - Rodney Allebach, Farmers Union Agency President; and
 - Thom Petersen, MFU Gov’t Relations Director – policy & social media

10:00 a.m. - Charlie Zelle, MN Transportation Commissioner - confirmed

10:30 a.m. - Policy discussion
11:25 a.m. - Senator Amy Klobuchar 

11:35 a.m. - Lunch break with MN-grown food (Memphis)

12:15 p.m. - Mario Vargas, MNsure Senior Outreach Analyst & Rodney Allebach, President, Farmers Union Insurance Agency

1:00 p.m. - Reconvene (Salon ABC)
Gary Wertish, MFU Vice President

1:15 p.m. - Dave Frederickson, MN Commissioner of Agriculture - confirmed

1:25 p.m. - Myron Frans, MN Revenue Commissioner - confirmed

1:45 p.m. - Policy discussion
3:30 p.m. - Credentials report

(3:30 registration closes; opens Sunday 8:30 - 9:30 am)

3:35 p.m. - President and Vice President nominations      

3:45 p.m. - Torchbearer’s ceremony

4:00 p.m. - NFU Convention delegate election caucusing (time certain)

5:00 p.m. - MNFARMPAC reception (Itasca Room)

6:30 p.m. - Banquet (Grand Ballroom; doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
 - Mallory Pagel, FFA President
 - Achievement Awards Ceremony
 - Doug Peterson, MFU President    
 - Governor Mark Dayton                 

8:00 p.m. - MFU fundraiser auction

Sunday, November 24

6:30 a.m. - Free omelette breakfast for MFU members (Itasca Room; ends at 8:30 a.m.)

7:30 a.m. - Member Education – MN Food Charter (Salon ABC)

7:45 a.m.-  Dairy meeting (New Orleans Room)

8:30 a.m. - Registration
 - Door prizes
 - MFU camp songs
 - Call to order

8:45 a.m. - Don Knutson, Green View Executive Director

9:00 a.m. - Membership & Education Committee Report by Donnel Williamson;
 - National Youth Advisory Council Members Meghan Osterbauer & Caleb Schmitz speak;
 - FUE Leadership Couple report by Peter & Stacy Ripka; and
 - Membership and Outreach Report by Bruce Miller

9:25 a.m. - Bylaws Committee Report by Markell Vogt, Bylaws Committee Chair

9:30 a.m. - Chandler Goule, Vice President of Government Affairs, National Farmers Union - confirmed

 (9:30 a.m. registration closes – time certain)

9:45 a.m. - Special Orders

9:55 a.m. - President and Vice President elections

10:00 a.m. - Policy discussion

11:00 a.m. - Credentials Committee report (final count of registered delegates)

11:05 a.m. - Introduction of NFU convention delegate nominees

11:45 a.m. - Election of delegates to NFU convention (time certain)

12:00 p.m. - Lunch

12:30 p.m. - Reconvene
 - Ron Hennen, 2012 audit and financial report

12:45 p.m. - Policy discussion
 - Announcements
 - Door prizes
 - Adjournment 

Most agenda times are subject to change

UPDATED November 20, 2013

By Communications Director

In case you missed it, here is the video from President Peterson's Pro Agriculture event by Politico in Washington, D.C. There is some great ag discussion here; Peterson's panel starts about the one hour mark,

By Communications Director

River Run OffSt. Paul (November 8, 2013) – One in six Americans face hunger, and that is why Farmers Union is teaming up with Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, to help raise funds for the hungry. Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson is serving as the chairman of the national campaign.

“Farmers work long, hard hours to feed the world, but with 14 million children being served by Feeding America in the United States, we need your help!” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president, and chairman of the Feeding America campaign. “National Farmers Union and Feeding America believe we can do more and are teaming up to feed the hungry. With just a $10 donation, 80 meals can be served to the hungry. You too can make a difference by donating today!”

The growing demand for raw food can be met by farmers. However, getting the food to the hungry is where Feeding America and National Farmers Union are working together, and toward a modest goal of raising $50,000 by December 25, 2013. $50,000 would garner 400,000 meals, or 450,000 pounds of food for hungry individuals.

For more information,

By Communications Director

St. Paul (November 5, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) will be holding their 72nd annual state convention Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24 at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. The business of the convention is to elect a president and vice president (President Peterson and Vice President Wertish are currently the only people running for office); debate and pass MFU policy; and elect delegates to represent Minnesota Farmers Union at the National Farmers Union convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico March 8-11, 2014.  Delegate discussions will surround the farm bill, support of local foods, discussion on tax issues, including farm equipment repair, and increasing support of biofuels.

“Minnesota Farmers Union is a grassroots organization, and our convention is member-driven policy formation at its finest,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Each of our member delegates have an opportunity to influence our policy which will be used at the state and federal level as we push for common sense solutions and sound ag policies that are good for family farmers and rural Minnesotans.” 

During the day on Saturday, a team from AT&T will be offering free cell phone training to help farmers optimize use of their phones for their farming practices. During Saturday lunch, Mario Vargas, Senior Outreach Analyst with MNsure will be speaking about Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, and on Sunday morning, Minnesota Food Charter will lead a discussion about ensuring all Minnesotans have healthy, affordable and safe food in the future. Other speakers throughout the convention include: Dave Frederickson, Department of Agriculture Commissioner; Charlie Zelle, Department of Transportation Commissioner; Myron Frans, Revenue Commissioner; and Chandler Goule, National Farmers Union Vice President of Government Relations. 

You can find the full agenda at The Minnesota Farmers Union Convention will be held at the Ramada Plaza, 1330 Industrial Boulevard, Minneapolis.  Contact Katie Fitzsimmons, MFU Communications Director, with any questions, 612.616.5252.

By Communications Director

The first meeting for the farm bill conference commtitee is set for Wednesday, October 30 at 12 p.m. CT.  MFU is pleased action is finally being taken on this important piece of legislation that helps family farmers, rural communities, and urban folks.

For a list of Farmers Union priorities, go here

By Communications Director

From National Farmers Union: 

WASHINGTON (Oct. 18, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) announced today its third annual campaign to help raise funds for Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

“For the third consecutive year, Farmers Union members and supporters have pledged to raise $50,000 to benefit Feeding America,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The work that Feeding America does directly impacts our rural communities. NFU’s family farmer and rancher members are proud to grow and raise the food that feeds our country, and our commitment to ending hunger in our own communities is a natural extension of that work.”

According to Feeding America, rates of food insecurity among rural households are generally lower than urban households, but slightly higher than the national average. The irony is that many of these food-insecure households are in the very rural and farm communities whose productivity feeds the world and provides low-cost wholesome food for American consumers. In fact, 15.5 percent of rural households are food insecure, an estimated 3.1 million households.

“Farmers work long, hard hours to feed the world, but with one in six Americans facing hunger and 14 million children being served by Feeding America in the United States, we need your help!” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president and chairman of the Feeding America campaign. “National Farmers Union and Feeding America believe we can do more, and are teaming up to feed the hungry. You too can make a difference by donating today.”

For more information about giving locally, please visit

By Communications Director

National Farmers Union has announced the tentative agenda for their Women's Conference in Florida, January 11-14, 2014. You can find more information, and register here.

By Communications Director

A lot of programs expire with the inaction of Congress on the farm bill. Below is a list of those programs. 

Expired Baseline Programs 

Note: All of the funding provided for these programs is discretionary.

·         Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development

·         Healthy Forests Reserve Program

·         Biobased Market Program

·         Biorefinery Assistance

·         Repowering Assistance

·         Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels

·         Biodiesel Fuel Education Program

·         Rural Energy for America (REAP)

·         Market Loss Assistance for Asparagus Producers

·         National Sheep Industry Improvement Center

·         Survey of Foods Purchased by School Food Authorities

·         Assistance for Community Food Projects

·         Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

·         Funding of Pending Rural Development Loan and Grant Applications

·         Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiatives

·         Disaster programs

·         Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE)

·         Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers

·         Value-Added Agricultural Market Development Program Grants

·         Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

·         Wetlands Reserve Program

·         Grassland Reserve Program

·         Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program

·         Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program

·         Desert Terminal Lakes Program

·         McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program

·         Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Projects

·         Pilot projects to evaluate health and nutrition promotion in the supplemental nutrition assistance program

·         Study on Comparable Access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico

·         Whole Grain Products for school lunches and breakfasts

·         Biomass Research and Development

·         Biomass Crop Assistance Program

·         Farmers’ Market Promotion Program

·         National Clean Plant Network

·         National Organic Certification Cost-Sharing

·         Organic Production and Market Data Initiatives

·         Determination on Merits of Pigford Claims

·         Specialty Crop Research Initiative

By Communications Director

St. Paul (October 2, 2013) - Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) believes our future is in the hands of our youth and that is why we proudly support 4-H in Minnesota, and want to recognize them during National 4-H week, October 6-12. 

“Minnesota Farmers Union thanks the 4-H program for fostering confidence and character in our youth, and building stronger communities,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Learning the importance of giving back, and of community, is vital to our economy and the 4-H program does this while also teaching kids the skills needed to succeed, and I commend the 4-H programs for that.”

MFU supports our youth and 4-H in the following ways:

  • financial support by buying animals at the 4-H auction;
  • providing championship signs for winners at the State Fair;
  • working at the Legislature to ensure adequate funding for 4-H;
  • sponsors Pioneer Public Television’s showing of the 4-H auction on television; and
  • joins 4-H in building youth leadership through our leadership camps. 

Minnesota Farmers Union will continue to fight for 4-H and help build our rural communities through our youth.

By Communications Director

National Farmers Union explains how the government shutdown impacts farmers. Check it out here.

By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (September 20, 2013) Minnesota Farmers Union is disappointed the House of Representatives decided to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and deny four million Americans benefits with the passage of H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013.

“When 1 in 6 people in rural America as well as 1 in 6 people in urban areas use SNAP, and with nearly 99 percent of all SNAP households with disposable income which leaves them in poverty, I am disappointed that members of the House of Representatives chose to make these cuts to hungry and needy individuals,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “I hope the House will now appoint conferees so the farm bill can be conferenced and that members of the House of Representatives quit biting the hand that feeds them!”

Minnesota Farmers Union believes the nutrition title and farm programs should be together in one piece of legislation. MFU thanks Representatives Peterson, Ellison, McCollum, Walz and Nolan for voting against the nutrition and farm program split.


By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (September 12, 2013) Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members joined more than 275 fellow farmers, ranchers and fishermen from across the country in Washington, D.C., September 8 through 11, 2013, for the National Farmers Union annual fall legislative fly-in. 

“Having MFU members tell our senators and representatives just what this lack of a farm bill is doing to their family and their livelihood is so important,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “We were able to help Members of Congress understand the severity of what Congress’s inaction is doing to family farmers and rural communities, and express the urgency of getting a farm bill done.” 

Farmers Union fly-in participants highlighted the importance of the farm bill, renewable energy policies, and many other policies that impact their operations and lives. They had a briefing with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, White House officials, and House and Senate Agriculture Committee staffers, as well as meeting with senators and representatives.

MFU members attending include: Deborah Felling of Sauk Centre; David Gilbertson of Kensington; Deborah Gilbertson of Kensington; Eric Hoese of Mayer; Merlyn Hubin of Westbrook; Ryan Hubin of Westbrook; Marvin Jensen of Kensington; Edward and Lynn Jostock of Rochester; Brent Krohn of Nicollet, with the Beginning Farmers Institute; Bryce Krohn of Nicollet, with the Beginning Farmers Institute; Linda Larson of Rosemount; Timothy Larson of Medford, agriculture educator; Mariah Larson of Medford, FFA student; Samantha Larson of Medford, FFA student; Duane Lichy, Agriculture Educator of Albany; Richard Moen of Clearbrook;  Jennifer Nelson of Sauk Centre; Meghan Osterbauer of DeGraff, with the National Youth Advisory Council; Gene Paul of Delavan, with NFO; Alan Perish of Browerville; Peter and Stacy Ripka of Ogilvie, with the Farmers Union Enterprises’ Young Couples Program; Brian Rohrenbach of Rosemount; Caleb Schmitz of New London, with the National Youth Advisory Council; Thomas Schuster of Morris; Dean Schuster of Chokio; Alexis Strong of Sauk Centre, MFU FFA essay winner; Carsten Thomas of Moorhead, with the Beginning Farmers Institute; and Harmon Wilts of Kerkhoven.


By Intern

River Run OffSAINT PAUL (September 18, 2013) - A U.S. District Judge of Mississippi gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) six months to decide whether to set Clean Water Act standards on a national level for nitrogen and phosphorous in all U.S. waterways or explain why they’re not needed.

Every summer, nitrogen, phosphorous & other nutrients feed algae blooms at the river’s mouth. Algae and the protozoa that feed off these nutrients die and fall to the bottom, where their decomposition uses up oxygen. These decomposing microorganisms are carried downstream to the Gulf of Mexico, leaving an area on the sea bottom averaging nearly 5,800 square miles — larger than the state of Connecticut. This hypoxia—commonly referred to as a dead zone—does not contain enough oxygen for aquatic life.

The department argued for EPA that setting such rules would be unnecessarily complex, and can be solved at the state level.

The Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force hosted a meeting September 24, 2013 in Minneapolis to inform the public of progress moving forward on Gulf Hypoxia.

For more information read this article.

By Intern

Honey Bee & Sweet Corn

SAINT PAUL (September 18, 2013) - The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), which is comprised of department of agriculture leaders from across the national, urges the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work towards bee protection on a state level by introducing “pollinator plans”.

Bees are needed to pollinate over 90 different crops in the United States. They also increase the quality & yield of crops they pollinate.

This comes in response to increased losses of honeybees due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

For further information, read this study on CCD or read this article.

By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (August 31, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union’s (MFU) Full Board of Directors, made up of county presidents from all over Minnesota, made many decisions on issues important to family farmers at their Full Board of Directors’ meeting. They voted in support of: repealing the expansion of the Minnesota sales tax to include farm equipment repairs; passage of a farm bill that includes the nutrition title; and National Farmers Union (NFU) and others’ intervening in a recently filed Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) lawsuit seeking an injunction to vacate and halt the implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final COOL rule.

“Minnesota Farmers Union is a grass-roots based organization and these policies are voted on and developed by our farmer-members, and we will be working to ensure farmers’ voices are heard,” said MFU President Doug Peterson.

The expansion of the sales tax to farm equipment repair was passed in the last moments of the 2013 legislative session and has been called an accident or error, but is costing Minnesota farmers millions of dollars and needs to be fixed. The United States House of Representatives voted earlier this summer to split the farm and nutrition portions of the farm bill, and they need to put together for the betterment of family farms and rural communities.  Finally, there is a recent court case that seeks to block implementation of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). The case, currently pending in federal court, was brought by foreign and domestic packer organizations seeking to circumvent the consumer right-to-know rules developed by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to legislation passed by Congress. COOL needs to be protected.


By Intern

ST.PAUL  (August 22, 2013) – Minnesota  Farmers Union Foundation & Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) sponsored two scholarships, presented to Mitch Donkers & Tyler Pierson worth $2,000 each to award academic and livestock production excellence.

MFU sponsored these two scholarships which were a part of the larger Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association Scholarship. These were awarded at the 4-H Purple Ribbon Auction at the Minnesota State Fair. There were 13 scholarships awarded at the $2,000 level, 18 scholarships awarded at the $1,000 level, a total of $44,000 awarded to outstanding youth from the greater livestock community.

Mitch Donkers Scholarship Winner crop.jpgMitch Donkers of Rice County is very active in 4-H, mainly involved showing dairy. He plans to attend South Dakota State University and pursue a degree in Ag Business with the help of this scholarship.

Tyler Pierson Scholarship WinnerTyler Pierson of Carver County is very active in 4-H beef project. With the help of this scholarship, he plans to attend South Dakota State University and pursue a degree in Animal Science.