CALL US TODAY
800.969.3380 





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. 

 

What MFU members say about their organization...


MFU's Doug Peterson and Bruce Miller awarded Emmy

K Cannon Miller Lahammer Peterson.JPG

MINNEAPOLIS (September 13, 2014)  Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson and Membership Director Bruce Miller have won an Upper Midwest Emmy® Award. Peterson and Miller are Producing Partners for the MFU-sponsored Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) show Farm Fresh Road Trip.
 

“The genesis of the Farm Fresh Road Trip is MFU’s Minnesota Cooks™ program, which we started to promote Farmers Union’s policy for supporting local foods and promoting farm-fresh, local foods grown by family farmers,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “The Farm Fresh Road Trip demonstrates to a television audience the connection between the farmer, the chef and the consumer while showcasing the underlying importance of local foods in Minnesota’s economy. Twin Cities Public Television has done a great job in helping bring forward the importance of local foods and its benefits, and we are proud to be in a partnership with them. This Emmy® award is an honor.”
 

The Farm Fresh Road Trip travels to restaurants across the state to film chefs using farm fresh local foods in their meals, as well as inform consumers about the importance of using Minnesota local foods.
 

The Farm Fresh Road Trip is nominated in the category: Lifestyle-Program/Special/Series. Along with Peterson and Miller, the nomination includes Twin Cities Public Television’s host, crew and leadership.
 

The Upper Midwest Emmy® Awards Gala honors exceptional work and nurtures the next generation of television professionals. The gala was held Saturday, September 13 at Target Field.
 

Farm Fresh Road Trip features six restaurants: River Rock Café in St. Peter; Zella’s in Hutchinson; Lake Avenue Café in Duluth; Foxy Falafel Food Truck in Minneapolis and St. Paul; Spanky’s Stone Hearth Restaurant in Frazee; and The Strip Club Meat and Fish in St. Paul.  The full program, or specific segments, can be seen yet on TPT’s website: http://www.mnvideovault.org/index.php?id=25083&select_index=0&popup=yes


By Communications Director

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members joined more than 275 fellow farmers, ranchers and rural citizens from across the country in Washington, D.C., Sept. 7-10, for the National Farmers Union annual fall legislative fly-in.

Minnesota Farmers Union fly-in participants were able to meet with several U.S. Senators and Congress Persons to discuss rail improvement, fair trade transparency, renewable fuel standards and other issues that have effects on their farms. One major component of the fly-in was having the opportunity to present the Golden Triangle award to the key leaders who stand behind Minnesota Farmers Union and National Farmers Union policy. These leaders are Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Al Franken, Representative Colin Peterson, Representative Tim Walz and Representative Rick Nolan.

“Having Minnesota Farmers Union members in our nation’s capitol lets them speak directly with representatives in Congress, and tell the real story of family farming. We help members of Congress understand that action is important to family farmers and rural communities,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Our members had good conversations with congress people about the issues impacting them, including Country-of-Origin Labeling, trade policy, Transportation Surface Transportation Board and the Renewable Fuels Standard. Making farm and ranch issues real to congress persons is the purpose of the fly in. Face-to-face meetings with congress people are the reality of politics, people and getting things done in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Capitol Hill visits, MFU members met with USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. Discussion centered around current United States water issues and Farm Bill implementation.

Minnesota Farmers Union members who attended the fly-in include Carol and Steve Anderson of Foley, Douglas Fjerstad of Fosston, Marvin Jensen of Kensington, Cherryl Johnson of Hoffman, Robert Johnson of Clearbrook, Jennifer and Bryan Klabunde of Waubun, Linda Larson and Brian Rohrenbach of Rosemount, Judy McCollum (Minnesota Farmers Union Agency) and David McCollum of Mahnomen, Richard Moen (Minnesota Farmers Union Industries) of Clearbrook, Gene Paul (National Farmers Organization Policy Advisor) of Delavan, Alan Perish of Browerville, Mike and Kay Peterson of Northfield, Robert Ryan of Bird Island, and Grant Smude (FFA Essay Contest Winner) and Cara Smude of Morrison.

Staff members included President Doug Peterson of Madison, Vice President Gary Wertish of Renville, Field Representative Amanda Rosendahl of Swift County and Government Relations Director Thom Petersen of Pine City.

By Communications Director

Sunday, September 7 - Wednesday, September 10, Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Members and Staff will focus Congress’ attention to issues that affect America’s farm families and rural communities!
 
Twenty-four Minnesotans are heading out to Washington, D.C. to tell Congressional leaders and White House staff that reliable railways are needed in the Midwest, Fair Trade transparency is needed via reform of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), support for the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) and that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is here to stay.
 
Farmers Union members will be meeting with senators and representatives, hear from representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Surface and Transportation Board and White House staff.
 
MFU Members Attending:
Carol Anderson and Steve Anderson of Foley;
Douglas Fjerstad of Fosston, Ag Instructor;
Marvin Jensen of Kensington, Farmers Union Industries;
Cherryl Johnson of Hoffman;
Robert Johnson of Clearbrook, Ag Student;
Jennifer Klabunde and Bryan Klabunde of Waubun;
Linda Larson and Brian Rohrenbach of Rosemount;
Judy McCollum Farmers Union Agency agent; and David McCollum, of Mahnomen;
Richard Moen of Clearbook, Farmers Union Industries;
Gene Paul of Delavan, National Farmers Organization Policy Advisor;
Alan Perish of Browerville;
Mike Peterson and Kay Peterson of Northfield;
Robert Ryan of Bird Island;
Grant Smude, FFA Essay Contest Winner and Cara Smude of Morrison.

MFU Staff in Attendance: Doug Peterson of Madison, MFU President;
Gary Wertish of Renville, MFU Vice President;
Amanda Rosendahl of Swift County, MFU Field Representative;
Thom Petersen of Pine City, MFU Government Relations Director;
 
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Call Interim Communications Director, Stephanie Olmscheid, at 651.288.4068 for questions or would like to speak to any staff or members during the fly-in.

By Communications Director

The Minnesota Cooks program at the State Fair brings together those who value and support locally Minnesota grown food: farmers, consumers, and chefs. Onstage, chefs created dishes using fresh ingredients supplied by local farmers. Emcees Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and JD Fratzke of The Strip Club Meat & Fish talked with chefs and a panel of farmer and local celebrity tasters in lively and meaningful discussions about their local food philosophies. At the end of each demonstration, the panel, as well as fairgoers, sampled the mouthwatering, farm-fresh fare.

“Join Minnesota Farmers Union as they present Minnesota Cooks Day at the State Fair, joining farmers, chefs and consumers in a dirt to dinner plate discussion on farm-fresh food, its availability, and challenges that farmers face in the new economy of food,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President and creator of Minnesota Cooks “The Minnesota Cooks program explores the edges of food production; some produce traditional and some non-traditional. Our discussion and dialogue with farmers, consumers and chefs will prove to be interesting and educational.”

2014 Farm and Resturant Pairings:

• Kirsten Shabaz with Valley Natural Foods demonstrated quick, healthy breakfast options.
• Mendoberri Café & Wine Bar featured apples from Wescott Orchard and Hidden Stream Farm.
• Wild Hare Bistro featured vegetables from Farmucopia.
• Tiny Diner, featured pork from Pastures A Plenty.
• Gorkha Palace, featured turkey from Ferndale market.
• Birchwood Café, featured black currants and blueberries from Blue Fruit Farm.
• Broadway Bistro, featured vegetables from Sundogs Prairie Farm.
• Wise Acre Eatery, featured bacon from Tangletown Gardens’ Farm.
• Gastrotruck, featuring mushrooms from Mississippi Mushrom.
• Terra Waconia, featuring vegetables from Pamered Pumpkin.
• Positively 3rd street bakery featured eggs from Locally Laid Egg Company.
• The Bluestem featured bison from Prairie Heights Bison.
• Mill Valley Kitchen, featured chicken from Kadejan, Inc.
• Easy & Oskey demonstrated inventive mocktails by using their popular Make Your Own Bitters Kit.
Local Celebrity and Farmer Tasters:

On hand to taste and share opinions of the fabulous food being prepared were celebrity tasters and farmers including:
• Lori Sturdevant, StarTribune
• Pakou Hang, Hmong American Farmers Association
• Roger Johnson, President of National Farmers Union
• Carrie Tollefsen, Minnesota Grown & Olympic Gold Medalist
• Monica Irwin, Budding Farmers
• Dave Fredrickson, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture
• Paul Huginin, Minnesota Grown
• Patrick Jon Weiland, Journalist and TV Producer and Director
• Rodney Allebach, President & General Manager of MN Farmers Union Insurance Agency
• Jason DeRusha , WCCO-TV
• Mike Rothman, Minnesota Commisioner of Comerce
• Tricia Cornell, Food Writer
• Megan O’Hara, Homegrown Minneapolis
• Stephanie Meyer, Fresh Tart
• Sue Zelickson, Women Who Really Cook & Charlie Awards
• Joy Summers, Food & Beverage Writer
• Joe Rolle, Chef
• Joe Glambruno, Bad Weather Brewing

Minnesota Cooks Calendar

The beautiful 12-month Minnesota Cooks calendar will continue its tradition of debuting at the event. This publication features stunning photography, enticing stories about the rich relationships these farmers and chefs share, and stellar recipes. For the duration of the fair, this calendar will be available at Minnesota Farmers Union’s building at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue.

Emmy Nominated

Peak at some of what the Minnesota Cooks program has to offer, check out this video from one of our partners, Twin Cities Public Television, on the Farm Fresh Road Trip

Minnesota Cooks is presented by Minnesota Farmers Union. For more information:

Visit www.minnesotacooks.org
E-mail info@minnesotacooks.org
“Like” Minnesota Cooks on Facebook http://goo.gl/NmI07O

By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (August 20, 2014) Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson announced he and Membership Director Bruce Miller are honored to be nominated as Producing Partners for the MFU-sponsored Twin Cities Public Television show Farm Fresh Road Trip, which has been nominated for an Upper Midwest Emmy® Award. The Farm Fresh Road Trip travels to restaurants across the state to film chefs using farm fresh local foods in their meals, as well as inform consumers about the importance of using Minnesota local foods.

“The genesis of the Farm Fresh Road Trip is MFU’s Minnesota Cooks™ program at the State Fair, which we started because of Farmers Union’s policy for supporting local foods and promoting farm-fresh, local foods grown by family farmers,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “The Farm Fresh Road Trip demonstrates to a television audience the connection between the farmer, the chef and the consumer while showcasing the underlying importance of local foods in Minnesota’s economy. Twin Cities Public Television has done a great job in helping bring forward the importance of local foods and its benefits, and we are proud to be in a partnership with them. This Emmy® nomination is an honor.”

The Farm Fresh Road Show is nominated in the category: Lifestyle-Program/Special/Series. Along with Peterson and Miller, the nomination includes Twin Cities Public Television’s host, crew and leadership.  The winner will be announced at the Emmy® Gala at Target Field on September 13, 2014.

Farm Fresh Road Show features six restaurants: River Rock Café in St. Peter; Zella’s in Hutchinson; Lake Avenue Café in Duluth; Foxy Falafel Food Truck in Minneapolis and St. Paul; Spanky’s Stone Hearth Restaurant in Frazee; and The Strip Club Meat and Fish in St. Paul.  The full program, or specific segments, can be seen yet on TPT’s website: http://www.mnvideovault.org/index.php?id=25083&select_index=0&popup=yes

Minnesota Farmers Union’s work with local foods also included Minnesota Cooks™ at the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday, August 24. Additional information about this program is available at www.minnesotacooks.org

 

By Communications Director


ST. PAUL (August 23, 2014) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), Minnesota Farmers Union Insurance, and Farmers Union Industries set not one, but two record prices at this year’s State Fair 4-H Purple Ribbon Livestock Auction. MFU & associated buyers contributed over $30,000 by buying the following four animals:

  • Reserve Champion Market Beef, raised Blake Heideman of Freeborn County
  • Grand Champion Market Gilt, raised by Lance Becker of Martin County
  • Reserve Champion Market Sheep, raised by Jessica Wiebe of Cottonwood County
  • Grand Champion Market Meat Goat, raised by Madeline Schultz of Rice County

“Having an animal in the Purple Ribbon Auction is a goal for many 4-H youths,” said Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson. “MFU is more than happy to support these determined individuals.”

The Purple Ribbon 4-H Auction is 101-head livestock auction that raises funds for Minnesota 4-H youth and Animal Science programs.
 

By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (August 21, 2014) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson hosted a live interview of Senator Al Franken, State Conservationist Don Baloun, Representative Rick Hansen & MN FFA President Jack Roessler. The interview was aired by Lynn Ketelsen on the Linder Farm Network radio.

“The State Fair is a great place to see the politicians of Minnesota—so remember to always ask them hard questions to keep them on their toes” joked MFU President Doug Peterson. Asking Franken his plan for avoiding propane shortages this year and his stance on Country of Origin Labeling did just that.

MFU would like to thank Lynn Ketelsen for his skills airing this interview and Senator Al Franken, State Conservationist Don Baloun, Representative Rick Hansen and MN FFA State President Jack Roessler for their time.

 

By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (August 21, 2014) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson was awarded an honorary FFA Degree by Minnesota FFA President Jack Roessler during an on-air interview.

“I am honored to receive this degree from Jack and all of the Minnesota FFA Organization” says MFU President Peterson. “The real world leadership skill they demonstrate and teach strengthens Minnesota’s youth countless ways. A strong foundation makes for a stronger Minnesota.”

MFU hosted this interview, aired by Lynn Ketelsen of Linder Farmer Network, at the MFU building located on the corner of Snelling and Dan Patch of the State Fairgrounds. Other interviewees include Senator Al Franken, State Conservationist Don Baloun, and Representative Rick Hansen.

Minnesota Farmers Union, standing for agriculture and fighting for farmers (www.mfu.org).

 

***

By Communications Director

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is set for the Fair with some delicious new treats, some refreshing old ones and some good ol’ conversation!

 

The MFU booth is located at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue, just inside the Snelling Avenue entrance where we will have our delicious Farmers Choice coffee and much-loved mocha and mango bars, and frappes. New this year, MFU will also have a caramel-based ice cream with pralines and cookies, s’mores mocha, and four varieties of cookie sandwiches – chocolate chip cookies with mocha ice cream, peanut butter cookies with chocolate ice cream, sugar cookies with mango ice cream, and turtle cookies with vanilla ice cream!  Stop by, grab something to drink and a treat to eat, or feel free to rest your weary feet in our back patio. See you at the Fair!

 

MFU activities at the Fair:

  • Thursday, August 21 at 12 p.m. – MFU President Doug Peterson will be the Linder Farm Network farm broadcaster of the day from the MFU booth with special guests Senator Al Franken, State Conservationist Don Baloun, State Representative Rick Hansen and FFA President Jack Roessler;
  • Friday, August 22 at 2:30 p.m. - sponsorship of the celebrity cow milking contest;
  • Saturday, August 23 at 6 p.m. - 4-H auction with MFU President Doug Peterson as one of auctioneers;
  • Sunday, August 24 at 7:45 a.m.- the MFU-sponsored milk run;
  • Sunday, August 24 - 12th annual Minnesota Cooks Program from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., in Carousel Park, just west of the Grandstand Ramp.  You can check out the schedule at www.minnesotacooks.org, and you can pick up a free Minnesota Cooks calendar at the event;
  • Tuesday, August 26 – 11:15 a.m. – MFU Vice President Gary Wertish will be on the MN Farm Network from the MFU booth;
  • Monday, September 1 at 1 p.m. - MFU President Doug Peterson will be on a labor panel at the DFL booth; and
  • MFU will also be participating in the Agrilympics, for more information, www.mnstatefair.org/entertainment/ag_exhibits/agri-lympics.html
By Communications Director

On Sunday, August 24, 2014, Minnesota Farmers Union Presents Minnesota Cooks™, a Local Foods Cooking Event at the State Fairgrounds

 

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota CooksTM program (www.minnesotacooks.org) at the State Fair is poised to host its twelfth annual celebration honoring relationships among premier Minnesota chefs and cooks, local farmers, and consumers. The day will feature cooking demonstrations, discussions, and sampling of delicious, sustainable cuisine.

 

The program will begin at 9:00 AM with a culinary demonstration of quick, healthy breakfast options by Kirsten Shabaz of Valley Natural Foods and live music from jazz and blues musicians Laura Underwood and Jeff Bjorgo.

 

Beginning at 10 AM, there will be six hourly presentations throughout the day by Minnesota’s premier chefs and cooks. All shows take place on the Minnesota Cooks Stage in Carousel Park, just south of the Grandstand.

 

Minnesota Cooks brings together those who value and support our local food system: farmers, consumers, and chefs. Onstage, these chefs and cooks will create amazing dishes using fresh ingredients supplied by our local stewards of the land. As they prepare their creations, emcees Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and JD Fratzke of The Strip Club Meat & Fish will engage the chefs and a taster panel of farmers and local food heavyweights in lively and meaningful discussions about their sustainable food philosophies. At the end of each demonstration, the panel, as well as fairgoers, will sample the mouthwatering, farm-fresh fare.

 

“I'm very proud of what this program has accomplished. We've been in lockstep with consumers' increasing concern about where their food comes from and who produces it,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President and creator of Minnesota Cooks. “We're pleased to educate about not only where to purchase these products, including restaurants and retailers, but also the community connection that purchasing local, farm-fresh foods brings about."

 

2014 farm/restaurant pairings:

 

10am

▪          Eric & Lisa Klein, Hidden Stream Farm and Robert Ulrich, Mendoberri

▪          Michael Schumacher & Marina Lovell, Farmucopia and Reed Olson, Wild Hare Bistro

11am

▪          Jim & LeeAnn VanDerPol, Pastures A Plenty and TJ Rawitzer, Tiny Diner

▪          John Peterson & Jane Peterson, Ferndale Market and Rashmi Battachan & Sarala Kattel, Gorkha Palace

12pm

▪          Jim Riddle & Joyce Ford, Blue Fruit Farm and Tracy Singleton & Marshall Paulsen, Birchwood Cafe

▪          Megan & Stephan Henry, Sundogs Prairie Farm and Matthew Jensen, Broadway Bistro

1pm

▪          Dean Engelmann & Scott Endres, Tangletown Gardens’ Farm and Beth Fisher, Wise Acre Eatery

▪          Ian Silver-Ramp, Mississippi Mushrooms and Stephen Trojahn & Catherine Eckert, Gastrotruck

2pm

▪          Laura Dimler, Pampered Pumpkin and Craig Sharp & Tracy LeTourneau, Terra Waconia

▪          Joe Lindgren & Danie Jimenez, Positively 3rd Street Bakery and Jason & Lucie Amundsen, Locally Laid Egg Company

3pm

▪          John Bowron, Prairie Heights Bison and Skyler Hoiland, The Bluestem

▪          Weston Gienger, Kadejan, Inc. and Jourdan Morris and Mike Rakun, Mill Valley Kitchen

 

At 4pm, Erik Eastman & James Eastman of Easy & Oskey will demonstrate inventive mocktails using bitters from their popular Make Your Own Bitters Kit. Mary DuShane and Nicholas Jordan of The Moonlight Duo will entertain afternoon audiences with Southern roots and bluegrass music.

 

In addition to this year’s selected farmers, the Minnesota Cooks taster panels will feature local food heavyweights eager to weigh-in on our state’s food scene - politicans, authors, food bloggers, and radio personalities: Lori Sturdevant of Star Tribune, Sue Zelickson of The Charlie Awards and Women Who Really Cook, author Atina Diffley, Fresh Tart blogger Stephanie Meyer, WCCO news anchor Jason DeRusha, and many others.

 

The beautiful 12-month Minnesota Cooks™ calendar will continue its tradition of debuting at the event. This stunning publication will proudly feature original gorgeous photography, enticing stories about the rich relationships these farmers and chefs share, and stellar recipes. For the duration of the fair, it will be available at Minnesota Farmers Union’s building at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue. After the fair, calendars can be requested through the Minnesota Cooks website (www.minnesotacooks.org) or through the 2014 participating restaurants and farmers.

 

Minnesota Cooks is presented by Minnesota Farmers Union with significant support from Minnesota Grown, Farmers Union Insurance Agency, and Farmers Union Industries. For more information about Minnesota Cooks, please visit the website at www.minnesotacooks.org, e-mail info@minnesotacooks.org, or like Minnesota Cooks on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/MinnesotaCooks/108643322551336

By Communications Director

ST. PAUL (July 31, 2014) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) policy has long supported country of origin labeling (COOL), that is why MFU is pleased by the District Court of Appeals’ decision to deny an appeal to halt the enforcement of COOL.

 

“Time and time again, multinational meatpackers and foreign competitors try to stop COOL, and once again the courts have agreed with popular opinion - consumers deserve to know where their food is coming from,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “MFU applauds the court’s decision because of its importance to family farmers and labeling their home-grown products, and for the consumer’s right to be educated about where their food comes from and to make buying decisions based on this knowledge.”

 

By a 9-2 majority, the Court upheld an earlier 3-judge panel decision to deny an appeal to halt the enforcement of the popular labeling law, passed in 2008.  The court ruled that “several aspects of the government’s interest in country-of-origin labeling for food combine to make the interest substantial: the context and long history of country-of-origin disclosures to enable consumers to choose American-made products; the demonstrated consumer interest in extending country-of- origin labeling to food products; and the individual health concerns and market impacts that can arise in the event of a food-borne illness outbreak.”

 

MFU will continue to fight and protect COOL.

 

For archived news, please see Press Releases


National Farmers Union Logo