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Farmers Union holds retreat to empower women and young leaders in agriculture
By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (June 5, 2014) Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) held a Focus on the Future retreat and Women’s Conference at the Radisson-Duluth.


“Women, young people, and beginning farmers are so integral in farming and in making our country thrive,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “That is why Minnesota Farmers Union feels it is so important to hold conferences like this to empower people, and to help them recognize their potential and to be aware of the networks that can help them achieve their goals.”


The conference had many wonderful speakers, including:

·         Champion and coach Shannon Miller, University of Minnesota-Duluth women’s hockey;

·         Charlie Poster, MN Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner;

·         Stephanie Heim, University of Minnesota Extension Farm to School State Lead;

·         State legislators: Senator Kent Eken, Senator Lyle Koenen, Senator Vicki Jensen, and Representative Andrew  Falk;

·         Jerry Demmer, Chair of the MN Corn Research and Promotion Council;

·         Ron Johnson with the Duluth Port Authority;

·         Kristine Fladeboe- Duininick, award-winning auctioneer and motivational speaker;

·         Jessica Miles, Ag Marketing Specialist with the Minnesota Grown Program;

·         Melisa Augusto, National Farmers Union Membership and Marketing Director;

·         Laurel Feddema, and Tony Mans with Second Harvest Heartland;

·         farmer Doug Hoffbauer, who gave a tour of his farm ( and Tom Hanson, owner of the  Duluth Grill (, who talked about the importance of using local food, including some from the  garden in his parking lot, at their restaurant; and

·         several MFU members who spoke from the heart about their experiences on the farm.

Minnesota Farmers Union wants to thank the Farmers Union Insurance Agency ( and Minnesota Corn Growers Association ( for sponsoring the event, as well as the Radisson-Duluth for graciously giving $250 to the Farmers Union Feeding America campaign.