Since the first local was organized in Jackson County in 1918, having a local presence throughout the state has been a hallmark of Minnesota Farmers Union. We have members in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties and Farmers Union county organizations are active in 67 counties.
Farmers Union county chapters are the base of our statewide grassroots organization. Each year, Farmers Union counties hold their annual county conventions, which are gatherings of Farmers Union members in respective counties. The main business of these gatherings is to debate and pass policy resolutions, which are passed onto the policy committee for discussion at the annual MFU Convention in November, and possibly to the National Farmers Union Convention the following March. This is how you make your voice heard in how you want MFU to fight for you. Before the conventions, members should take the time and think of ideas they’d like to present as resolutions. Farmers Union leaders advocate for this policy in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.
County conventions are also the time to elect delegates to represent the county at the annual MFU convention, elect a county president who serves on the MFU Full Board of Directors, and any other officers, such as county Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer or any position available in your county. We encourage you to consider running to become a county leader if you are passionate about rural Minnesota. To answer the most unasked question: If I go, will I get elected as a delegate or officer? The answer is pretty simple: No, unless you want to be elected.
At the conventions, there is a speaker from the MFU State Office who addresses what our organization is doing at the state level. Some conventions are during the day, some at night. Many conventions include meals, either on your own or paid for by the county, and last about an hour and a half.
Voting members are a mix of family farmers and consumers and their spouses and children. Members’ unmarried children between the ages of 16 and 21 are also eligible to vote at any Farmers Union meeting, including county and state conventions.
County conventions are fairly informal, usually held at farms or small restaurants. You can catch up with your neighbors, meet new people and talk about issues in your area. These are family-friendly events and provide interesting opportunities hear what others are thinking about rural Minnesota.
MFU members receive postcard and email notifications with details of when and where your county conventions will be held. The conventions are also listed on our main web calendar and our Facebook page.
Farmers Union county conventions are the core events of Minnesota Farmers Union. If it’s been a while since you attended a Farmers Union county convention, why not give it a try this year? Bring your family, friends and neighbors, and make the most of your MFU membership.
If you have questions about county conventions, contact MFU Membership and Outreach Director Bruce Miller at email@example.com or (651) 288-4064.