Why have Farmers Union Women’s Conferences?
Women have made invaluable contributions towards the success of Minnesota agriculture. Yet, historically they have not been recognized for it.
That’s why Farmers Union continues to hold Women’s Conferences, both at the national and state levels. We want to bring together our women members to inspire and connect them.
2019 Conference: Strength in Community
One of the biggest stories in agriculture and rural Minnesota lately has been stress. Many factors are responsible for this, including negative farm income, farm transitions, the weather and our intense political climate. On its own, farming is stressful. But it’s easy to overlook the isolation that’s becomingly increasingly prevalent in our rural communities, with fewer and fewer farmers and small-town businesses.
Minnesota Farmers Union is all about working together and supporting each other through these hard times, counteracting this isolation. At our 2018 MFU Women’s Conference, participants told us they appreciated how it helped them feel less alone. We are building on that for the 2019 conference, seeking to build community among MFU women with political advocacy, local food and learning about available resources. Confirmed as speakers so far are:
Mary Nell Preisler, Director of Farmer-Lender Mediation at the University of Minnesota
Whitney Place, Assistant Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Alana Petersen, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Tina Smith, D-Minn.
The community extends beyond the speakers, as MFU members Polly Perkins and David Christianson have generously agreed to host the conference at their beautiful vineyard, L’Etoile Du Nord, in Parkers Prairie, just north of Alexandria. A local foods lunch will be provided by Minnesota Cooks restaurant La Ferme.
Through all of this, we hope conference participants will come away knowing they are valued and are truly not alone. It’s one thing to tell someone they aren’t alone; it’s another to make them feel it. With the stressful times in agriculture right now, there’s so much we can’t control. But we can remind each other that the bonds of the MFU family are strong. Together we can call for change, make a difference in our food systems and help each other get what we need.