Attendees of the Minnesota Farmers Union State Convention socialize during the Saturday night banquet at the 75th annual convention in Minneapolis. (photo from https://www.facebook.com/mnfarmersunion)
The Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) held its 75th annual state convention on Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20, 2016. The grassroots organization took to the floor several key issues that are important to the family farmers of Minnesota. The realigned policy will set forth a strong agenda for the organization in the upcoming legislative year.
President Doug Peterson expressed gratitude and honor for being able to serve as the state president of the organization for 14 years. “I have spent the majority of my live fighting for the family farmer and the last 14 years being the voice for the members of the Minnesota Farmers Union, the fight will never end for me, I will always be a farmer and I will continue to be a part of Farmers Union. The support and respect the members of this organization have for the life on the farm and for each other is something I can’t imagine being away from.”
Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson and wife Elly enjoying the activities at the 75th annual state convention. Doug recently announced he’ll be stepping down at the end of the year after 14 years in the top chair. (photo from Facebook.com/mnfarmersunion)
“Minnesota Farmers Union is a grassroots organization that truly listens to the members and they create the policy that we work by.” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Every voice has the chance to be heard every day within our organization, and our annual convention offers the perfect platform for these discussions.”
The MFU delegates debated special orders of business addressing the concerns with the upcoming Farm Bill, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and Health Care. Delegates went through the Minnesota Farmers Union policy and set the groundwork for the legislative lobbying on behalf of family farmers that will take place in 2017 by Minnesota Farmers Union.
During the convention, speakers included: Senator Amy Klobuchar; Senator Al Franken; Dave Frederickson, Department of Agriculture Commissioner; Lt Governor Tina Smith; Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union President; Representative Collin Peterson; Tim Rudnicki with MN BioFuels; and Jim Ennis with Catholic Rural Life.
Several awards were given out at the banquet Saturday night including: Markell Vogt, Dedicated Service Award; Dustin Hoffmann, Ag Communicator of the year award; Gene Paul, Lifetime Achievement Award; and Doug Peterson, Dedicated Service to Agriculture Award.
During our annual Farmers Union Foundation Live Auction, we were able to collect over $5600 for the FFA Blue Jackets Program. Thank you to the 43 members who donated to this program, it is a great way to help support young people who will are exposed to and are encouraged to become involved in agriculture. Minnesota Farmers Union annually supports this program by purchasing 30 blue jackets. In 2016 MFU increased their donation to 40. With the collection on Saturday evening another 76 blue jackets will be purchased!
Delegates were chosen to represent Minnesota Farmers Union at the National Farmers Union convention which will be held March 5-8, 2017 in San Diego, CA.
Farmers Union Convention pictures
Wondering what Farmers Union is all about? Check out the 2015 Year in Review video: