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 encourages farmers to have their voice heard
ST. PAUL (December 12, 2013) – The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council (MBRPC) is proposing a voluntary beef check-off price increase of $1.00 per head. The current $1.00 per head check-off is split evenly between state and national beef promotion councils. The proposed increase would stay with the Minnesota Beef Council and would be used for promotion efforts in Minnesota only.
“Minnesota Farmers Union encourages all farmers and ranchers to vote, and to make sure their voice is heard,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President.
Minnesota farmers and rancher selling their livestock in Minnesota would be eligible to receive a refund of the automatic $1.00 per head increase if the referendum passes and they request it after the sale of their cattle. Producers will have a chance to review the proposal and share their feedback before the February, 2014 mail ballot election.
To ensure producers are on the list to receive a ballot by mail, they can request one in three ways.
• call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 651-201-6013; or
• call the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council at 952-854-6980.
Individuals must make the request by Friday, January 17, 2014.
Minnesota Farmers Union and the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis announce a new benefit for Minnesota Farmers Union members coming in 2014
Federal Agriculture Report from NFU
National Farmers Union Vice President of Government Affairs Chandler Goule gave a presentation at our State Convention about agriculture activities on the federal level. Here is his presentation.
Youth receive Torchbearer Award
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union gave out its Torchbearer award at their 72nd annual state convention. In order to be eligible to win the Torchbearer Award, the youth needed to be involved with the Farmers Union education program for at least four years. Each individual also attended the Farmers Union All-States Leadership Camp, which is where individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders meet with other Farmers Union youth from throughout the country in Bailey, Colorado at the National Farmers Union Education Center.
The award winners were: Jacob VanDerPol, son of Josh & Cindy VanDerPol from Kerkhoven; Aandra Fitzer, daughter of Betty & Rob Fitzer from North Oaks; KateLynn Kowalski, daughter of Mike & Mary Kowalski from East Grand Forks; Caleb Schmitz, son of Terry Schmitz & Bob Thompson from New London; Meghan Osterbauer, daughter of Tony & Janeen Osterbauer from De Graff; Jake Magnell, son of Toni Magnell from Oklee; Laura Amacher, daughter of John & Gina Amacher from St. Paul; Holly Ricard, daughter of Steve & Maureen Ricard from Benson; and Haley Moseng, daughter of Brent Moseng from Dawson.
“Receiving the Torchbearer Award is a great accomplishment and one that these youth should be greatly proud of,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “I sincerely congratulate them on their achievement and thank them for being a dedicated member of the Minnesota Farmers Union family.”
Since the 1930's, becoming a Torchbearer marks the conclusion of a Farmers Union young person's work in the youth program, and the commencement of his/her participation in adult Farmers Union activities.
Gregerson receives Lifetime Achievement Award
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union honored Gary Gregerson of Badger with their Lifetime Achievement Award at their 72nd annual state convention.
“Gary has been a dedicated and loyal Farmers Union member for years. You can always count on him to be there to fight for Farmers Union and what is important to our members by providing policy direction and old-fashioned, common-sense, get-it-done work ethic,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “It is great to have him as a member and leader of Minnesota Farmers Union.”
Gary has served as the Roseau County Farmers Union President since 1973 when he signed up for a 25-year membership. He used to be a small grain farmer on the land where he was born and raised, but has since retired, still residing in the farm house where he grew up.
Gary believes that the Farmers Union represents so much more than just Minnesota farmers. He believes that the organization represents the best interests of the state. Throughout his membership, he has seen a lot and learned a lot, finding MFU very rewarding. He is proud to see a lot of young, passionate, new members.
He was on the Board of his local Farmers Union oil company for over thirty years, and is also a Legion member. Gary and his wife Michelle live in Badger. They have three grown children, one grandchild with two more on the way!
Cattnach receives Superior Service to Farmers Union Award
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union honored Steve Cattnach of Luverne with the Superior Service to Farmers Union Award at their 72nd annual state convention.
“Steve understands the importance of family farmers and for over thirty years has worked tirelessly to make sure that family farmers, their families, and their livelihood, are covered when mother nature strikes, and protected when things aren’t going so well,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “I want to thank Steve for his dedicated service to Farmers Union, rural communities, and the people who live there. We are lucky to have him as part of our team.”
Cattnach contracted with Farmers Union Agency on December 1, 1981 in Luverne, MN. He has been very successful in his agency, winning many sales awards over his 33 years, and consistently in the top 3 of all agencies for premiums with the Farmers Union Agency.
Steve is active in the Luverne Lions Club; he serves on the board of trustees for the State on Minnesota Lions Clubs foundation for Diabetes. He is active in his church and served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Rock County Farmers Union.
Steve and his wife Penny have three children, Bruce, Barb, and Jennifer, and five grandchildren.
Williamson receives Excellence in Youth Education Award
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) –Christa Williamson of Spicer received the Excellence in Youth Education Award from Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) at their 72nd annual state convention.
“Christa has made a significant impact on the young men and women in her classroom and around the state. Her passion for educating today’s youth about the importance of agriculture, and her service as a mentor for countless individuals makes her truly deserving of this award,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Minnesota Farmers Union appreciates the dedication and great care she has given those she comes into contact with and is thrilled to honor her with our Excellence in Youth Education Award.”
Christa Williamson is in her 10th year as an Agricultural Education Instructor at Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg (KMS) Schools. During her time there, Williamson has grown the position from part-time to that of a full-time position that currently enrolls 199 students. The FFA chapter that chartered in her first year with the Agricultural program has also grown significantly to its current membership of 103. In 2013, the KMS Agricultural Education Program was named the 2013 Minnesota Outstanding Ag Ed Program.
Williamson is very active in the Minnesota (MAAE) and National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), currently serving as the Membership Secretary for MAAE and the Chair of the NAAE Policy and Bylaws Committee. She also played an important role in integrating science standards into the agricultural classroom. Williamson is also an active volunteer for the Meeker County 4-H programs. Christa served as the Acting Education Director for MFU in 2000, and has served on number committees for MFU as well as acting as a delegate to the NFU convention.
Christa resides on a Certified Organic Farm near Spicer with her husband Donnel and their two boys.
Gill receives Outstanding Agriculture Award
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) –Joe Gill, of Sartell, received the Outstanding Agricultural Reporting Award from Minnesota Farmers Union at their 72nd State Convention.
“Joe continually proves his dedication to the stories which impact Minnesota Agriculturalists,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “He does a great job at serving the agriculture community, which is why Minnesota Farmers Union wanted to honor him for his work and service to rural Minnesota.”
Gill has worked at KASM 1150AM Radio in Albany since the summer of 1999 and as the Farm Director since 2009. He also works as the radio traffic manager and does sports broadcasting for Albany High School Sports. Joe is also a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.
Joe and his wife Denise live in Sartell with their two children.
Rohrenbach & Larson receive Outstanding Leadership Award
ST. PAUL (November 25, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union honored Brian Rohrenbach and Linda Larson of Rosemount with the Outstanding Leadership Award at their 72nd annual state convention.
“Brian and Linda are always willing to go the extra mile. You don’t even need to ask them, because they are already there helping out,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “One of Farmers Union’s strengths is its membership, and with dedicated leaders like Brian and Linda in our organization, we will continue to be strong. I want to thank them for their leadership and their dedication to Minnesota Farmers Union and family farmers.”
Brian was elected Dakota County Farmers Union President in 2005, and has attended the state and national conventions every year. He has also served as a Minnesota Farmers Union delegate to the National Convention, served on the state policy committee, attended Lobby Days, and two DC fly-ins. Brian was recognized at the National Convention last March for membership recruitment in 2012.
Linda currently serves on the Minnesota Farmers Union Policy Committee, the Membership Education Committee and actively works within her county to help members realize the vital role that each person has in voting and participating in Farmers Union and local government. She loves Farmers Union activities and has attended both the national and state conventions for the past several years, lobby day at the state capitol, the national and state Farmers Union Women’s Conferences, and the national fly-ins to Washington, D.C.
Brian and Linda live in rural Rosemount and have four adult children.
Peterson and Wertish re-elected
ST. PAUL (November 24, 2013) – The Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) held its 72nd annual state convention on Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24. President Doug Peterson and Vice President Gary Wertish were re-elected to serve another two years of office; policy and special orders were passed; and delegates were elected for the National Convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 8-11, 2014.
“Minnesota Farmers Union is about bringing common-sense solutions to the table when ag policy is being discussed, and that is why our convention is so important, because this is where our policy is debated and decided by our county-elected delegates,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Our grassroots way of doing things ensures everyone has a voice and that our policy is sound because it comes from the head and hearts of our members.”
The MFU delegates passed special orders of business on passage of the farm bill; support for increased transportation funding; and support for repealing the equipment repair sales tax law. Delegates went page-by-page in our policy and debated issues from renewable energy to local foods.
During the convention, a team from AT&T offered free cell phone training to help farmers optimize use of their phones for their farming practices; Mario Vargas, Senior Outreach Analyst with MNsure spoke about Minnesota’s health insurance exchange; and Minnesota Food Charter lead a discussion about ensuring all Minnesotans have healthy, affordable and safe food in the future. Speakers included: Governor Mark Dayton; Senator Amy Klobuchar; Representative Rick Nolan; FFA President Mallory Pagel; Dave Frederickson, Department of Agriculture Commissioner; Charlie Zelle, Department of Transportation Commissioner; Myron Frans, Revenue Commissioner; and Chandler Goule, National Farmers Union Vice President of Government Relations.
Several awards were given out at the banquet Saturday night, including the Lifetime Achievement Award to Gary Gregerson of Badger; Superior Service to Farmers Union Award to Farmers Union Insurance Agent Steve Cattnach of Luverne; Outstanding Leadership Award to Brian Rohrenbach and Linda Larson of Rosemount; Outstanding Agricultural Reporting to Joe Gill of Sartell of KASM/Albany; and Excellence in Youth Education to Christa Williamson of Spicer.
November 20, 2013 at 02:40pm
Minnesota Farmers Union's State Convention is set for Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24. The tentative agenda is below.
Friday, November 22
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Welcome reception for MFU members hosted by Farmers Union Insurance Agency (Itasca Room)
Saturday, November 23
6:30 a.m. - Free farm-fresh breakfast for MFU members (Itasca Room; ends at 8:30 a.m.)
8:00 a.m. - Registration opens (Foyer)
8:45 a.m. - Door prizes
- Convention convenes (Salon ABC);
- Prayer lead by Gene Paul with NFO;
- Pledge of Allegiance lead by Merlyn Hubin, Executive Board Chairman;
- MFU camp songs;
- Present & adopt proposed convention rules by Markell Vogt of the Rules Committee; andadopt minutes of 2012 convention
(9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.: AT&T phones for farmers, St. Paul Room)
9:15 a.m. - Doug Peterson, MFU President;
- Rodney Allebach, Farmers Union Agency President; and
- Thom Petersen, MFU Gov’t Relations Director – policy & social media
10:00 a.m. - Charlie Zelle, MN Transportation Commissioner - confirmed
10:30 a.m. - Policy discussion
11:25 a.m. - Senator Amy Klobuchar
11:35 a.m. - Lunch break with MN-grown food (Memphis)
12:15 p.m. - Mario Vargas, MNsure Senior Outreach Analyst & Rodney Allebach, President, Farmers Union Insurance Agency
1:00 p.m. - Reconvene (Salon ABC)
Gary Wertish, MFU Vice President
1:15 p.m. - Dave Frederickson, MN Commissioner of Agriculture - confirmed
1:25 p.m. - Myron Frans, MN Revenue Commissioner - confirmed
1:45 p.m. - Policy discussion
3:30 p.m. - Credentials report
(3:30 registration closes; opens Sunday 8:30 - 9:30 am)
3:35 p.m. - President and Vice President nominations
3:45 p.m. - Torchbearer’s ceremony
4:00 p.m. - NFU Convention delegate election caucusing (time certain)
5:00 p.m. - MNFARMPAC reception (Itasca Room)
6:30 p.m. - Banquet (Grand Ballroom; doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
- Mallory Pagel, FFA President
- Achievement Awards Ceremony
- Doug Peterson, MFU President
- Governor Mark Dayton
8:00 p.m. - MFU fundraiser auction
Sunday, November 24
6:30 a.m. - Free omelette breakfast for MFU members (Itasca Room; ends at 8:30 a.m.)
7:30 a.m. - Member Education – MN Food Charter (Salon ABC)
7:45 a.m.- Dairy meeting (New Orleans Room)
8:30 a.m. - Registration
- Door prizes
- MFU camp songs
- Call to order
8:45 a.m. - Don Knutson, Green View Executive Director
9:00 a.m. - Membership & Education Committee Report by Donnel Williamson;
- National Youth Advisory Council Members Meghan Osterbauer & Caleb Schmitz speak;
- FUE Leadership Couple report by Peter & Stacy Ripka; and
- Membership and Outreach Report by Bruce Miller
9:25 a.m. - Bylaws Committee Report by Markell Vogt, Bylaws Committee Chair
9:30 a.m. - Chandler Goule, Vice President of Government Affairs, National Farmers Union - confirmed
(9:30 a.m. registration closes – time certain)
9:45 a.m. - Special Orders
9:55 a.m. - President and Vice President elections
10:00 a.m. - Policy discussion
11:00 a.m. - Credentials Committee report (final count of registered delegates)
11:05 a.m. - Introduction of NFU convention delegate nominees
11:45 a.m. - Election of delegates to NFU convention (time certain)
12:00 p.m. - Lunch
12:30 p.m. - Reconvene
- Ron Hennen, 2012 audit and financial report
12:45 p.m. - Policy discussion
- Door prizes
Most agenda times are subject to change
UPDATED November 20, 2013
November 18, 2013 at 09:37am
In case you missed it, here is the video from President Peterson's Pro Agriculture event by Politico in Washington, D.C. There is some great ag discussion here; Peterson's panel starts about the one hour mark,www.politico.com/events/politico-pro-agriculture-launch
November 8, 2013 at 01:50pm
St. Paul (November 8, 2013) – One in six Americans face hunger, and that is why Farmers Union is teaming up with Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, to help raise funds for the hungry. Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson is serving as the chairman of the national campaign.
“Farmers work long, hard hours to feed the world, but with 14 million children being served by Feeding America in the United States, we need your help!” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president, and chairman of the Feeding America campaign. “National Farmers Union and Feeding America believe we can do more and are teaming up to feed the hungry. With just a $10 donation, 80 meals can be served to the hungry. You too can make a difference by donating today!”
The growing demand for raw food can be met by farmers. However, getting the food to the hungry is where Feeding America and National Farmers Union are working together, and toward a modest goal of raising $50,000 by December 25, 2013. $50,000 would garner 400,000 meals, or 450,000 pounds of food for hungry individuals.
For more information, www.nfu.org/feedingamerica.