March 13, 2014 at 01:36pm
St. Paul (March 13, 2014) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members return from the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“The National Farmers Union Convention is such a wonderful time because farmers from all across the country get together to discuss issues that are important to family farmers, and pass policy that is used as a guide when pushing for common-sense policies in Congress ” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President.
Farmers Union delegates re-elected President Roger Johnson and elected a new Vice President, Donn Teske, who currently serves as Kansas Farmers Union president and is a fifth generation farmer. He replaces outgoing Vice President Claudia Svarstad. The National Farmers Union Board unanimously re-elected MFU President Doug Peterson as National Farmers Union Secretary.
During the convention, it was announced that the National Farmers Union Feeding America campaign raised $196,000 for those who are hungry. MFU President Peterson served as honorary chair of the campaign.
“Everyone deserves a place at the table, but sometimes people do not have the resources needed to get the nutrition they need, and as farmers, we believe in helping those who are food insecure find their way to the table,” said Peterson. “I am very proud that Farmers Union raised $196,000 to help feed the hungry.”
MFU attendees heard from: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; a farm bill update panel with Sara Wyant, president, Agri-Pulse Communications; Bart Fischer, chief economist, House Agriculture Committee; Joe Shultz, Chief Economist, Senate Agriculture Committee; and Alexis Taylor, chief of staff, Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. There was also a state agriculture policy panel which included Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar, New Mexico Director/Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, and Wyoming Director of Agriculture Jason Fearneyhough.
Along with passing policy, convention delegates passed seven Special Orders of Business addressing varying aspects of agriculture, which can be found here, nfu.org/policy-nfu/special-orders-of-business.
The Minnesota delegation included: Don Davis, former CEO of Farmers Union Industries, LLC in Redwood Falls who received the National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award, and his wife Daphne; Tim Velde, National Farmers Union Policy Committee Chair from Granite Falls; Meghan Osterbauer of DeGraff and Caleb Schmitz of New London as part of the National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC); Bryan and Jennifer Klabunde of Waubun as members of the Farmers Union Leadership Couples' Program; Jennifer Gibson of North Mankato, Eric Hoese of Mayer, Bryce Krohn of Nicollet, and Carsten Thomas of Moorhead as part of the Beginning Farmers Institute; JoAnne Riegert of Waubun; Sam Holmgren of Atwater; Ross Eichens of Minneota; Peter Ripka of Ogilvie; John Larsen of Mantorville; and Merlyn Hubin of Westbrook as delegates; and Farmers Union Insurance Agency President Rodney Allebach and his wife Linda of Albertville; Sandy Hubin of Westbrook; Larry and Gina Jacobson of Hitterdal; Marvin and Marlys Jensen of Kensington; Richard Moen of Clearbrook; Alan and Karen Perish of Browerville; John Nelson of Waubun; Norma Holmgren of Atwater; Stacy Ripka of Ogilvie; Bessie Klose of Atwater; Lisa Severson of Eau Claire, WI; Lori Klose of Benson; and Brian Rohrenbach and Linda Larson of Rosemount.