MFU members elect leadership, adopt policy at National Farmers Union 116th Anniversary Convention
March 7, 2018
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Farmers Union (NFU) 116th Anniversary Convention concluded yesterday following the adoption of the organization’s policy book and special orders of business. Nearly 500 family farmers and ranchers convened in Kansas City, Mo., to engage in policy deliberations and celebrate family agriculture, including 37 members and staff from Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU).
Delegates to the convention adopted the NFU Policy Book and nine special orders of business that will guide the organization’s government affairs priorities over the next year, especially as they relate to the current farm economic crisis and upcoming deliberations on the 2018 Farm Bill. Delegates also reelected Roger Johnson as NFU President, and elected Patty Edelburg of Scandinavia, Wisc., to serve as NFU Vice President.
“Our members put their heart and soul into this organization and into the advocacy we do for family farmers and ranchers across the country. Our grassroots policy adoption process is the main focus of our annual convention,” said Johnson. “This year’s deliberations had a clear emphasis on providing meaningful support to farmers struggling amidst a sharp decline in profitability. Delegates also passed policy and special orders of business focusing on supporting family farmers’ ability to earn an honest living, protect natural resources, build up their communities and provide for the nation.”
“We had a strong group of delegates from Minnesota at the NFU Convention, all very engaged in building support for family farmers in this nation,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “We not only learned about the vast array of agricultural issues across the country but advocated for MFU policy as well. We need to come together to combat the farm economic crisis, and the NFU Convention is a great opportunity for that.”
MFU’s 14 delegates were Carol Anderson of Foley; Paul Benson of Mahnomen; Erik Hatlestad of New London; Scott Hilgeman of Oklee; Larry Jacobson of Hitterdal; Vice President Bryan Klabunde of Waubun; John Larsen of Mantorville; Deborah Mills of Lake City; John Nauerth III of Lakefield; Alan Perish of Browerville; Frank Turnock of McGregor; President Gary Wertish of Renville; Harmon Wilts of Kerkhoven; and Ted Winter of Windom.
Convention attendees were treated to keynote remarks from Jason Kander, President of Let America Vote, and Art Cullen, Pulitzer-prize winning editor of The Storm Lake Times. Johnson delivered his annual State of the Farmers Union address, focusing on the upcoming Farm Bill, state of the farm economy and organizational priorities moving forward. Johnson also joined a panel on the opioid crisis with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and U.S. Department of Agriculture Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett.
In order to provide the national organization a set of priorities for the coming year, delegates approved nine special orders of business:
Full text of the adopted policy manual will be available soon at nfu.org.
# # #
Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Fighting for Farmers