The Minnesota Farmers Union recently held its 70th annual state convention.
Doug Peterson was re-elected as president and Gary Wertish was re-elected vice president by acclamation. Policy and special orders were passed, and delegates were elected for the National Convention in Omaha, Nebraska in March.
Policy discussions and approved special orders included:
-the farm bill, which calls for meaningful payment limitations, a strong safety net for all crops when prices are low, as well as for dairy farmers when the farm gate price falls below production
-the reinstatement of the Homestead Credit (Homestead Market Value Credit)
-directing MFU to send comments opposing the proposed rule to the Department of Labor that could prohibit certain children from farm activities and could negatively impact 4-H, FFA, and youth who wish to work on farms and in agriculture.
"The special orders our delegates passed are reflective of the big issues at this time and the action Minnesota Farmers Union needs to take as we represent our members," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president. "We will be armed with our special orders and policy as we advocate for rural Minnesota and family farms."
The following delegates were elected by their peers: Alton Walker of Bagley as a delegate and Alan Perish of Browerville as an alternate; Ted Winter of Fulda as a delegate and Ross Eischens of Minneota as an alternate; Lee Johnston of Swanville as a delegate and Mark Thell of Wrenshall as an alternate; and Pat Irrthum of Wanamingo as a delegate and John Larsen of Mantorville as an alternate. The delegates will represent Minnesota Farmers Union at the National Farmers Union Convention in Nebraska in March.
There were a distinguished list of speakers during the convention and banquet, including: Governor Mark Dayton; Senator Amy Klobuchar; Don Baloun, Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist; Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture commissioner; Brian Jennings, executive vice president of American Coalition for Ethanol; Bill Hartmann, state veterinarian for Board of Animal Health; and Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union president.
Several awards were given, including the Lifetime Family Achievement Award to the John and Laureen Borden family of Merrifield; the Outstanding Leadership Award to Alan and Karen Perish of Browerville; the Excellence in Membership and Policy Award posthumously to Tim Henning of Adrian; and the Outstanding Agricultural Reporting Award to Mike Hergert with the Red River Farm Network.
Source: Minnesota Farmers Union