The Minnesota Farmers Union Executive Committee is elected by the MFU Full Board of Directors annually. Each member represents a specific region of Minnesota and is the president of their county Farmers Union.
Gary Wertish was elected Minnesota Farmers Union President in a special election in January 2017. He and his wife Jeanne have four grown children and four grandchildren. He ran a diversified grain and livestock farm and now assists his son Tom operating their family farm near Renville. Gary graduated from Renville High School and Willmar Area Vocational Technical Institute receiving a degree in Agriculture Business Management. Since 1991, Gary has served as a supervisor for Emmet Township in Renville County. He also served nine years as a director and president of the Renville Volunteer Ambulance Service. From 1993 to 1999, Gary served on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Sweeteners in Washington, D.C., and now is a member of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds. From 2001 to 2007, Gary served as Sen. Mark Dayton’s Agricultural Director. He has served on MFU and NFU policy committees and as an MFU field representative and Renville County President.
MFU Vice President
Anne Schwagerl is the newly elected Vice President of Minnesota Farmers Union and the outgoing State Secretary. Anne also joined the Minnesota Cooks team in January 2020 as a Farmer Consultant, assisting with project development and big picture decision-making. She and her husband, Peter, operate a diversified grain and livestock operation near Browns Valley, MN. Their family operates nearly 400 acres and grows certified organic corn, soybeans, small grains, and kernza, as well as a pastured pork and laying hen operation. Prior to returning home to farm, Anne earned her bachelor’s degree in Geography at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and worked in the field of nonprofit grant management at National Geographic Society and United Way. Anne currently serves on the board of governors of Farmers Union Industries has recently completed the WFO-GYMNASIUM Young Farmer Leader Training. She is a Next Generation Representative on the National Farmers Union Board of Directors.
Benton County President, Executive Committee Chair
Carol Anderson her husband Steve dairy farm in Benton County, milk 65 cows and farm 450 acres. They raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Anderson graduated from Foley High School and attended St. Cloud State University graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Public Administration. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from Mankato State University and is a Humphrey Policy Fellow.
Anderson was part of the Perpich Administration and assisted in the establishment of the Minnesota Trade Office and their overseas offices, leaving that position when she married her husband Steve and they took over her parents’ dairy farm. She has been the Executive Director of Community Development of Morrison County, a non- profit economic development corporation in Little Falls, MN, for more than 30 years.
Presently, Anderson is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, a non-profit economic development corporation with $300 million in assets. MBFC provides SBA 504 loans to businesses in Minnesota. She is also the Chair of the Workforce Development Board in WDB District Two, which covers nineteen counties in Northwest Minnesota. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program, which works with the unemployed to assist them in finding job training and employment.
Rock & Nobles County President, Executive Committee Vice Chair
Ted was elected to the MFU Executive Committee from District 3 in 2017. He serves as the President of the Rock & Nobles County Farmers Union and has operated his family’s farm in Nobles County for 50 years. He also was an insurance agent with Farmers Union Agency up until the end of 2020. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1987 through 2003, advocating for farmers.
Dakota County President
Linda was elected to the MFU Executive Committee in February 2019 to represent District 5. Raised on a small family farm near Ruthton in southwestern Minnesota, she moved closer to the Twin Cities for the benefit of a daughter with special needs for more opportunities and resources. But her heart never left rural Minnesota. A lifelong advocate for those who may need a hand up, she devoted time to the United Way Speakers Bureau, DARTS in Dakota County, ProAct Board of Directors, Living Well Disability Services Family Council, a special-needs Girl Scout troop, FFA Alumni Association and community-based public speaking classes through Toastmasters International. Linda participates in Farmers Union at every level. In 2013, she was instrumental in re-establishing the annual MFU Women’s Conference and was awarded the 2013 MFU Leadership Excellence Award along with her husband Brian Rohrenbach. She regularly attends the NFU Convention, the NFU Women’s Conference, the NFU Fly-In, MFU Lobby Day, MFU Women’s Conference, Rural Voices Discussions, Farmfest and Minnesota Cooks Day. She has been an NFU Convention delegate, served on the MFU Policy Committee and has held all the Dakota County chapter offices. Currently serving on the Farm Advisory Council for Congresswoman Angie Craig, Linda is also a founding member of the Rural Caucus and was recently elected as state Chair. She is studying at Metropolitan State University to fulfill her lifelong goal of completing her college education.
Linda and Brian are transitioning their farm ownership to a four-generation farm family, allowing more time for advocating for family-farm-friendly ag policy and the rural communities around them.
Red Lake County President
Steve was elected to the MFU Executive Committee in 2019 representing District 1. He farms with his family in rural Oklee and is the President of Red Lake County Farmers Union. He served on the Garnes Township Board from 1977-2018, on the Oklee Co-op Elevator Board for 21 years, the Red Lake Electric Co-op Board for 19 years and as Director of the Square Butte Electric Co-op for 10 years.
Chippewa County President
Josh was elected to the Minnesota Farmers Union Executive Committee from District 2 in 2018 and is Chippewa County president. Josh, his wife Cindy, their children Jacob, Andrew & Kirsten, and his parents operate Pastures A Plenty Farm & Company. Their farm consists of 320 acres of organic crops and direct marketed heritage pork, grass-fed beef and pastured raised eggs. Josh is also council president of Immanuel Lutheran church of Clara City and serves on the media committee, broadcasting services on the internet, public access TV and local radio. He is a past 4-H leader and served on the MACCRAY FFA parent advisory board. He is proud that all three of his and Cindy’s kids have chosen agricultural vocations.