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MINNESOTA FARMERS UNION WELCOMES YOU!


Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to farmers and non-farmers. 

 

MFU signs letter urging policy that supports small family farms

Minnesota Farmers Union recently signed a letter from the Center for Rural Affairs calling on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to  adopt policies that address unfair contracts for farmers, increase market transparency, reform USDA guaranteed loans, and guarantee worker rights as they work on the 2018 Farm Bill. Several other state Farmers Union organizations, as well as National Farmers Union, signed the letter.

View the letter at this link: http://www.cfra.org/news/171011/congress-must-adopt-policies-support-small-farms


Save the date for the MFU Convention

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Mark your calendars for the MFU 76th Annual Convention, Nov. 17-19 at the Ramada Plaza Minneapolis.

The convention begins with a reception on the evening of Nov. 17. The next two days will consist of policy debate and elections of President and Vice President, as well as delegates to the National Farmers Union Convention. We will also hold a luncheon with Minnesota gubernatorial candidates, a reception for the MNFARMPAC and a live and silent auction. Child care is available.

Paul Douglas, renowned Minnesota meteorologist, will serve as the keynote speaker at the banquet on the evening of Nov. 18, with a speech titled "A Rapidly Changing Climate: Threat – and Opportunity." There will be time for questions as part of the speech.
There is no cost to attend the convention proceedings. However, lunch on Saturday and Sunday and the Saturday banquet are ticketed events. The cost for a package of all three meals is $50/person. Each individual lunch ticket is $15, and the banquet ticket alone is $30. To register, call the MFU State Office at (651) 639-1223, email info@mfu.org or go to the Eventbrite link.
You must reserve your hotel room(s) by contacting the Ramada Plaza directly at (612) 331-1900, ext. 3. Book by Nov. 3 to guarantee a special rate of $93/night. A credit card is required to book your reservation. The Ramada Plaza is located at 1330 Industrial Blvd. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
We welcome members who wish to volunteer at the convention. If you are interested in volunteering, contact us at (651) 639-1223 or info@mfu.org.


Donate items for MFU Fundraiser Auction

Do you have any retro Farmers Union memorabilia? Or farm machinery collectibles? Consider donating them for the MFU 76th Annual Convention Fundraiser Auction. Funds raised support the MFU Political Action Committee and the MFU Foundation.

Drop your items off at the Ramada Plaza on Nov. 17 before the opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.
The live auction will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, following the banquet.


Send us your photos!

Do you have photos you'd like to share with us? Send them our way! We'll display our favorites at the Minnesota Farmers Union State Convention, November 17-19.

Some examples of what to send:

- Breakfasts on the Farm
- County picnics
- County fairs
- Other county events
- Highlights from your farm
- Children's FFA/4-H events

Some guidelines for sending photos:

- Send a high-resolution copy of the photo
- Include your name, address and a brief caption of the photo
- Most smartphones have cameras that take high-enough quality photos

Send photos to MFU Public Relations Director Brita Moore at brita@mfu.org by Nov. 1 to be included in the State Convention slideshow. There will be future opportunities to send photos as well!


Successful Fly-in for Minnesota Farmers Union

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The participants from the National Farmers Union Legislative Fly-in have returned after three days of learning and discussion. Minnesota sent 36 in total to Washington, D.C.
Participants had three main issues to talk to legislators about - the Farm Bill, health care and renewable fuels - as well as the Farmer's Share that NFU releases monthly. MFU's group dropped information or talked directly with all of Minnesota's Congressional delegation, plus other representatives from around the nation.
We also presented five legislators with the Golden Triangle Award, the highest honor from National Farmers Union. The award signifies that the member has shown dedication to improving the livelihoods of family farmers and ranchers. MFU awarded Golden Triangles to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Al Franken, Rep. Tim Walz, Rep. Rick Nolan and Rep. Collin Peterson.


Minnesota Farmers Union members traveling to Washington to be a voice for family farmers

Together with nearly 300 other Farmers Union members from all over the country, 36 Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members and staff will be traveling to Washington D.C. to be a voice for local family farmers in the 2017 National Farmers Union (NFU) Legislative Fly-In.

The Fly-In will begin on Sept. 11 with a visit to the United States Department of Agriculture. Afterwards, members will meet with Congressional leaders from various districts to let them know how the policies that are coming from the nation’s capital are affecting family farmers, ranchers and rural communities around the country.

“Fly-in is a great opportunity for rural Americans to make their voices heard with federal legislators,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “They have a real chance to influence the policies that affect them most.”

This year, the main focal points for discussion will be strengthening the farm safety net in the next Farm Bill; supporting homegrown renewable energy development; and ensuring family farmers and ranchers have access to affordable, quality health care.

Members from Minnesota Farmers Union that will be participating in this year’s NFU Fall Fly-In are Doug and Barb Wertish of Faribault; Jennifer Smith of Kenyon; Eddie and Lynn Jostock of Rochester; Alan Perish of Browerville; Eunice Biel of Harmony; Judy Johnson of Preston; Ted Winter of Fulda; Brian Rohrenbach and Linda Larson of Rosemount; Carol and Steve Anderson of Foley; Anne and Peter Schwagerl of Browns Valley; Richard Moen of Clearbrook; Josh, Cindy and Kirsten VanDerPol of Kerkhoven; Jill and Aaron Chervestad of Oklee; Hunter Cardinal of Fargo, N.D.; Gene Paul of Delavan; and Ruth Kinnunen of Menahga. Traveling with MFU as a member of the media is Joe Gill, Farm Director of KASM Radio in Stearns County.

Plus MFU and Farmers Union Insurance Agency staff: Gary Wertish, MFU President; Bryan Klabunde, MFU Vice President; Rodney Allebach, Farmers Union Agency President, and his wife Linda; Thom Petersen, Director of Government Relations; Michelle Medina, Director of Renewable Energy; Laura Sherar, Executive Assistant; Brita Moore, Director of Public Relations; Glen Schmidt, Director of Education, and his fiancée Kelsey Kemling; and FUIA Agent Mike Panka, and his wife Becky.

Follow the conversation from Fly-in on social media with the hashtag #NFUFlyin17.


National Farmers Union releases District Work Packet for local discussion

With members of Congress back in their states and districts for the August recess, now is the time for Farmers Union members and organizations to make their voice heard by federal-level officials. To help guide conversations on areas that are likely to come before Congress this fall, National Farmers Union (NFU) has prepared the 2017 District Work Packet, which you can find here. This document is a set of talking points on the three issues that the NFU Board selected as priorities for the upcoming NFU Fall Legislative Fly-In. They each have congressional “asks” or "calls-to-action.”

There are many issues confronting family agriculture, but to have a unified voice on three of them throughout this recess is important. It’s also a major benefit to being part of a strong, unified national organization for family farmers and ranchers. Your help in promoting district-level work during the August recess will go a very long way towards Farmers Union having both an effective fly-in and successful federal-level lobbying efforts over the course of the next year.


Visit Minnesota Farmers Union at Farmfest 2017!

Join Minnesota Farmers Union at Farmfest 2017! The event takes place at Gilfillan Estates just outside of Redwood Falls, Minn., from Aug. 1-3.

Farmfest is an annual event that brings together farmers and agricultural professionals from around the country. Elected officials will also be in attendance to hear from constituents.

“With the upcoming Farm Bill, it is important for the voices of farmers and rural residents to be heard in its development,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “Farmfest is a great opportunity for them to talk with elected officials.”

Minnesota Farmers Union activities:

  • PANELS: President Wertish will speak as part of the National Ag Policy Roundtable at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 2. He will also greet members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee for the Farm Bill conversation on Aug. 3 at 9:30 a.m.
  • MNSURE: Allison O’Toole, CEO of MNSure, and representatives will visit the MFU hoop barn from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Aug. 2 to answer questions and visit with MFU members.
  • AGRABILITY: Representatives from Agrability will be in the MFU hoop barn all three days to talk about how they can help farmers with disabilities and demonstrate Rollover Protection Systems (ROPS).
  • AGRITOURISM SIGNS: MFU will have signs available for members and farmers at our hoop barn. Agritourism signs explain to consumers the risks of visiting a farm.
  • PIZZA: MFU will have pizza from Big River Pizza available at our hoop barn. Additionally, Minnesota Farm Families of the Year may use a coupon for one FREE pizza pie at the barn, or 50 percent off a pizza at Big River’s location in St. Paul.

The MFU hoop barn is located just west of the forum building in lot 509.


Minnesota Farmers Union to Host Rural Voices Discussions on 2018 Farm Bill

With talks underway in Congress for the next Farm Bill, Minnesota Farmers Union invites rural citizens to attend two Rural Issue Discussions about what’s essential to the bill.

“The Next Farm Bill: A Rural Voices Discussion” will be held on July 26 in Mankato and July 27 in Willmar. Both sessions are open to the public.

“It is important that Congress hears the voices of real farmers and rural residents as part of the discussion on the 2018 Farm Bill,” said MFU President Gary Wertish.

Wertish and National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Public Policy Rob Larew will serve on the listening panel at both sessions. Representatives from Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar will be on hand to listen, as well as Hunger Solutions and Feeding America. Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture Andrea Vaubel will be at the Mankato session, and MDA Director of Government Affairs Whitney Place will attend the Willmar session.

The Mankato session will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Morson-Ario VFW Post 9713, 1900 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato. The Willmar session will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Willmar American Legion Post 167, 220 19th Ave SW, Willmar.

For more information, contact Bruce Miller at 651-470-5438 or Brita Moore at 651-308-2435.


MFU to Hold Water Quality and Soil Health Day

ORONOCO, Minn. ­Minnesota Farmers Union invites members and the public to learn about water quality and healthy soil initiatives on Aug. 11. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning at People’s Energy Cooperative, 1775 Lake Shady Ave. S., Oronoco.

In the morning, speakers will include farmers discussing their practices; Minnesota Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Matt Wohlman on the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program; Anna Henderson from Governor Mark Dayton’s office on the governor’s 25 By ’25 water quality initiative; and University of Minnesota professor Don Wyse on the Forever Green project. MFU will provide lunch for the event.

Following lunch, a field tour will be held at Rod Sommerfield’s farm, which is five miles north of Oronoco.

The farm visit will include additional speakers from companies and government agencies, as well as demonstrations on regenerative management and cover cropping. The farm will also feature a soil pit and equipment display area. MFU will provide a bus to the farm, or individuals may drive to the site. Watch for signs the day of the event. View a full agenda at www.mfu.org.

The event is free. Although pre-registration is not necessary, it is appreciated. For more information or to pre-register, please contact the MFU office at 651-288-4067 or Field Representative Dori Klein at dori@mfu.org by Aug. 7.


Minnesota Farmers Union Welcomes Brita Moore as Public Relations Director

As of July 10, 2017, Brita Moore has joined the Minnesota Farmers Union staff as Public Relations Director.

Moore, who lives in St. Paul, previously was assistant managing editor at Agri News, a weekly newspaper focusing on agricultural issues in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

“I am honored to work with MFU,” Moore said. “I look forward to helping strengthen Minnesota’s rural communities and sharing the stories of our farmers.”

“Brita’s experience as an agriculture journalist will be a great benefit to our staff,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “I am grateful to have her on board.”

Moore will primarily be responsible for promoting MFU on social media, contributing stories to the monthly Minnesota Agriculture publication and media relations. She can be reached at brita@mfu.org, 651-288-4068 (office) or 651-308-2435 (cell).


MFU sees positive progress for Agriculture in Legislative session

Tuesday May 30th, Governor Mark Dayton signed all of the spending bills passed by the 2017 legislature for the 2018-19 budget years. Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) was pleased to see many of the priorities the organization listed prior to session having positive outcomes for farmers including a strong agriculture budget, buffer and road ditch mowing modifications, a tax credit for agriculture land relating to school capital improvement levies, action on health care, and other important issues.

 

“MFU would like to thank legislators from both parties, Governor Dayton and his administration for working hard to ensure that Minnesota farmers have the resources and support they need to prosper and continue farming” said MFU President Gary Wertish.

 

Read more and see the highlights of the legislative session here.


Minnesota Farmers Union Hosts Bi-annual Women’s Conference in Little Falls

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is hosting their biannual Women’s Leadership Conference Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the Franciscan Convent in Little Falls. 14 percent of family farms have women as the principal operator and 29 percent of businesses are owned by women. These numbers are growing every year.

 

“It is very important to invest time and education in encouraging women’s leadership,” said MFU President Gary Wertish “I personally invite all women from rural communities and urban communities to attend this year’s conference which highlights the essential pieces of launching and continuing a farm or small business.  We are proud of the guests we have joining us and feel they will provide important information to those who attend.”


Read more here
Register for the conference here


Lt. Governor Smith to Join Minnesota Farmers Union for Release of New Report

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Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper, and Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Wohlman will join Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish for the release of a report documenting the results of 14 Minnesota Farmers Union Rural Issues Discussions titled: What Do Rural People Think?

 

Press Conference

 

Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

 

Capitol Press Corps Conference Room --- Minnesota State Capitol

 

Time: 11:00 AM

 

 

Over the course of two weeks, Minnesota Farmers Union hosted 14 Rural Issue Discussions around the state, involving over 450 people attending and speaking up, and which included the Lieutenant Governor, and Administration Commissioners as listeners.

 

Learn more here:

 


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Minnesota Farmers Union applauds confirmation of Sonny Perdue to lead USDA

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) today applauds the confirmation of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) by the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 87-11.  MFU also appreciates both Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken vote in favor of the Perdue nomination.

 

“MFU is pleased that the vote as finally occurred and Mr. Perdue can get to work as the Secretary of Agriculture on the many pressing issues including a struggling agricultural economy, trade and the looming 2018 farm bill” said MFU President Gary Wertish.

 
Read full release here.

MFU applauds passage of ditch mowing legislation

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) today applauded the signature of
Senate File 218 by Governor Mark Dayton that implements a moratorium
on the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) in enforcing
permits until April 30th, 2018 for mowing and baling in right of way on
trunk highways, except for land that adjoins state land.


MFU had raised concerns with the new permit system MNDOT had announced in
December of 2016, that many farmers saw as unnecessary, confusing and
burdensome.“Mowing roadsides has been an important source of forage for
farmers, controls weeds and improves visibility on highways” said MFU President
Gary Wertish. The legislation will give all parties a chance to get together and
address issues, “MFU encourages farmers to pay attention to this issue over the
interim and be involved in making their voice heard on this issue” added Wertish.

Read more here. 


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Health Care Dominates Talk at Rural Community Meeting

 

Monday,Minnesota Farmers Union hosted the first of more than a dozen meetings on the pressing issues facing our local farming communities. We were in Oronoco with the heads of several state agencies.

Several farmers were also there to tell us where they think the most work is needed. 

 

“It’s always good when you can get people together who are from different areas,” said Alison Peters.

Minnesota’s Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper was a guest at Monday's meeting.
 

“So we have some real challenges with the department of human services right now with what’s happening federally, we have bills moving through congress, or not moving any longer through congress that negatively impacts Minnesotan’s lives,” she said.
 

But farmers say one of the biggest issues for the farming community is health care.
 

“Rising cost of healthcare impacts greater Minnesota disproportionally,” said Piper.


To view the full article written by KAAL and the television piece go here: 

http://www.kaaltv.com/news/minnesota-farmers-union-human-services-emily-piper-rural-issues-health-care/4437523/?cat=10151#

To view the full article and television piece from KTTC go here:

http://www.kttc.com/story/35008594/2017/03/27/state-leaders-discuss-healthcare-and-other-issues-with-local-farmers 


Minnesota Farmers Union hosts Rural Issues Discussions to allow the voices of family farmers and rural residents to be heard on important issues impacting their families and communities

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) has scheduled 15 Rural Issues Discussions from far Southeast Minnesota to far Northwest Minnesota, and many in between to hear directly from farmers and rural residents about the important issues affecting farmers and rural communities. Key stakeholders have been invited to participate in the discussions. 

 
 

Among them are Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, and Commissioners: Mike Rothman of Department of Commerce, Emily Johnson Piper of Department of Human Services, Dave Frederickson of Department of Agriculture, and Deputy Commissioner Matt Wohlman Department of Agriculture. Also joining us to talk about the Farm Bill is Vice President of Government Affairs and Communication for National Farmers Union, Rob Larew. Larew previously served as a staff member for United States House Agriculture Committee member, Collin Peterson.


Read more and see the schedule of the Rural Issues Meetings here.


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MFU Applauds the Strong Work Completed as the NFU Concludes its 115th Anniversary Convention with Adoption of Policy, Special Orders of Business

The National Farmers Union (NFU) 115th Anniversary Convention concluded today following the adoption of the organization’s policy book and special orders of business.  The Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) delegation was a part of nearly 500 family farmers and ranchers who convened in San Diego both to engage in thoughtful policy deliberations, as well as to learn from agricultural experts and each another.

 

The adopted policy book and special orders of business will guide the organization’s government affairs priorities over the course of the next year, including the current farm crisis and upcoming deliberations on the 2018 Farm Bill. Read more here.

 


Two Minnesota Farmers Union Members Recognized for Excellence in Membership and Leadership

National Farmers Union (NFU) recognized the efforts of two Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members for their excellence in membership recruitment and outreach at the 115th Anniversary Convention.

 

“A strong grassroots network is the backbone of a farmer-led organization,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Our peer-driven approach to membership and outreach is what keeps our organization rooted in rural America, and I am honored to recognize the efforts of these dedicated leaders.”

 

Annually, National Farmers Union presents one or more awards in each of four categories: Silver Star Award, Membership Achievement Award, Leadership Achievement Award, and Outstanding Leadership Achievement Award.

 

Gary Wertish of Minnesota Farmers Union, received the Silver Star Award, the highest honor bestowed to individual Farmers Union organizers. Wertish is a six-time recipient of the coveted award.

 

Bessie Klose from Minnesota Farmers Union received the Membership Achievement Award for her dedication to recruitment. 


Minnesota Farmers Union members attending the National Farmers Union Convention hosted in San Diego


Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members will be attending the National Farmers Union (NFU) 115th Anniversary Convention that is being held at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego, CA, March 5-8, 2017. 

 
 

“The National Farmers Union Convention consists of delegates from around the country coming together to discuss key agricultural issues and build a true grassroots policy,” said Gary Wertish, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “The policies we agree upon at the NFU convention are the policies that drive our focus and engagement for the year ahead in our work on federal policy. As always we have a strong representation coming from Minnesota Farmers Union and I expect another great National Farmers Union convention.”  Read more here. 


Nobles County Farmers Union President, Ted Winter, to Attend Trump Speech

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Nobles County Farmers Union President and Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Executive Board member, Ted Winter will attend President Donald Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday, February 28th as the guest of Rep. Tim Walz.
 

Mr. Winter is the owner and operator of Winter Agency, which works closely with the Farmers Union Insurance Agency, Inc. to provide property, casualty, life, crop, and health insurance in Windom, Minnesota. Winter also owns and operates a 250-acre crop farm near Fulda, Minnesota.
 

“It is an honor to attend this address to Congress as guest of Congressmen Walz, I appreciate the efforts he has made on both health care and farm bill issues as well as using a common sense approach in working with farmers and rural Minnesotans,” stated Winter. MFU President Gary Wertish added “MFU appreciates the importance of Rep. Walz inviting a farmer to this speech as his guest to highlight the importance the role farmers play in his district.”
 

Winter was recently elected to the Executive Board of the Minnesota Farmers Union to represent Southwestern Minnesota. Winter has played an active role in rural policy development having served 16 years in the state legislature and as Majority Leader and has played an active role in MFU policy development for many years.
 


FFA 2016 MFU Essay Contest Winner

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Congratulations to Katie Benson from the Staple-Motley FFA for winning the 2016 Minnesota Farmers Union Essay Contest.  

Thom Petersen, Legislative Director for Minnesota Farmers Union, was able to catch up the the Staples-Motley FFA Group during FFA Day on the hill to present Katie, along with her advisor Kerry Lindgren, with the $1,000 scholarship for their FFA Chapter.

 


Minnesota Farmers Union’s Board of Directors meets elect new Vice President, State Secretary and to discuss legislative priorities.

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Minnesota Farmers Union’s (MFU) Full Board of Directors met for the special business of electing a new Vice President of the organization.  Bryan Klabunde from Wauban, Mahonomen County, was elected as the new Vice President of Minnesota Farmers Union. Bryan will fill the position that was left open with the election of Gary Wertish to President of the organization in January.
 

Members also discussed legislative issues that are affecting family farmers in the 2017 legislative session. The Full Board consists of county presidents throughout the state. Discussion involved key issues such as ditch mowing permits, buffer regulations, and the public option on health care, amongst other important key issues. Read more here.


Minnesota Farmers Union applauds passage of Rural Finance Authority Legislation

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Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) applauds the signing today by Governor Mark Dayton of legislation to fund the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) which helps farmers secure funding for various important loans including restructure, beginning farmers, and farm improvement loans. 

 

MFU appreciates the efforts of the chief authors Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) and Sen. Andrew Lang (R-Olivia) as well as many legislators from both sides of the aisle in recognizing the need to expedite funding for the RFA which has lacked funding since December 31st, 2016 and been unable to process loans. Read more here.


Minnesota Farmers Union Elects New President

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Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) held a special election on Saturday, January 21, 2017 to elect a new President to replace former president, Doug Peterson, who retired December 31, 2016. The special election consisted of the full board members of county presidents from around that state.
 

Former MFU Vice President, Gary Wertish was elected by the full board members on Saturday to be the 10th President of Minnesota Farmers Union.

Gary has served as the Vice President of Minnesota Farmers Union since 2009, and has filled in as interim President since the retirement of Doug Peterson on December 31, 2016.
 

Prior to being elected as Vice President, Gary had worked as a field representative for Farmers Union. Gary worked for Senator Mark Dayton as his Agricultural Director. He farms with one of his sons raising corn, soybeans, and navy beans.
 

Read more here.


Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program Certifies 300th Farm

Minnesota Farmers Union Congratulates members Pat and Jody Lunemann from Todd County, Minn. for being the 300th farm certified by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program.
 

Pat and Jody operate Twin Eagle Dairy and milk 800 cows and farm 1,500 acres of corn, alfalfa and grass to help feed their herd.
 

Congratulations Pat & Jody!
 

To view the full press release sent by the MN Department of Ag click: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/…/rel…/2017/nr20170105mawqcp.aspx
 

Those interested in the program can go here to learn more: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/…/waterprotecti…/awqcprogram.aspx


Minnesota Farmers Union sets 2017 Legislative priorities

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) with grass-roots input from its farmer-membership has set protecting agricultural portions of the state budget, addressing property tax and health care concerns, as well as addressing the struggling farm economy as top priorities for the 2017 legislative session which begins Tuesday January 3rd.
 

“MFU is hopeful that with the state budget surplus, legislators will be able to provide some property tax and health care relief for farmers”, said interim MFU President Gary Wertish, who added “MFU will be working with our farmers to ensure that rural Minnesota is represented in those discussions”.

Read Minnesota Farmers Union 2017 priorities here.


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NFU to Add Agriculture Policy Veteran to Lead Public Policy and Communications

National Farmers Union (NFU) today hired a veteran agriculture policy specialist to lead the organization’s policy team through the upcoming Farm Bill. Robert Larew will join NFU as Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications on November 14.

 

Larew has more than 20 years of public service, working on both Capitol Hill and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He is currently serving as the minority staff director on the House Agriculture Committee.

 

“Rob’s agricultural roots and extensive experience working on the last four Farm Bills will serve our family farmers and ranchers well. We are pleased to welcome him to the Farmers Union organization,” said Roger Johnson, president of NFU.

 

Prior to serving on the Committee, Larew worked as an agriculture legislative assistant and legislative director for U.S. Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). He also served as a legislative assistant for the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and as director of congressional and public affairs at Food Safety Inspection Service at USDA.

 

“I'm excited to continue my work in agriculture by joining the premier organization dedicated to supporting family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities,” Larew said.

 

Raised on a dairy farm in West Virginia, Larew received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Science from Virginia Tech. 


Tim Walz Blog on NFU website - The Future of Agriculture and Veterans in Farming

tjw-official-headshot-2013_0By U.S. Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01)

By now folks across the country are well aware that the average age of American farmers and ranchers is just over 58 years old. Less well known is the fact that 200,000 military personnel are discharged from the armed services each year. As a Member of Congress who serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Veterans Affairs Committees, I see a compelling opportunity at the intersection of both populations.
 

Agriculture is in desperate need of an infusion of new farmers and ranchers. As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking to add 100,000 new farmers to agriculture in the coming years. Retiring farmers without viable succession plans are weighing what to do with vast tracts of land across this country, and as older farmers look to transition, and rural communities continue to empty out, farming and ranching’s future looks more unstable.
 

Meanwhile, the veteran community faces its own set of unique challenges. Of the 2.7 million service members who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, at least 970,000 veterans have some degree of officially recognized disability. Recent reports suggest that such figures significantly underestimate the actual extent of injuries sustained. Following their separation from the military, our brave men and women look to new careers where they can utilize valuable skills they have learned in ways that serve their community


To read more click here:  http://nfu.org/veterans-and-agriculture-an-opportunity-to-revitalize-farming/5214

 


Minnesota Farmers Union Member from Northfield, MN in Rice County Creates Stunning Landmark Sculpture for Minnesota Farmers Union

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Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) member, Mike Peterson, from Northfield, MN in Rice County, and Rice County Vice President, created a stunning sculpture for MFU that represents the true symbols of family farmers, whom MFU strong advocates for and supports.  The plow, rake, and hoe are the original insignia of Minnesota Farmers Union, and represent the historical tools of farmers that represent their hard work. Read more here.


Register for the MFU Convention

Register here


Tentative Agenda for the 76th Annual Convention

Tentative Convention Agenda


National Farmers Union District Work Packet

District Work Packet


2017 Rural Voices Discussion Report

2017 Rural Voices Discussion Report


MFU Rambow Logo Wear

MFU is now offering a line of dress shirts, sweatshirts, casual wear, and bags for purchase in partnership with Rambow Inc. out of New London, Minnesota. Click here to view merchandise and place an order. 


National Farmers Union Logo