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...

By Communications Director

Minnesota Farmers Union Largest Single Contributor to FFA Blue Jacket Bright Future Program

St. Paul, MN. (October 28, 2014) For the sixth consecutive year, the Minnesota Farmers Union has donated to the FFA’s Blue Jackets Bright Future program, which provides sponsored FFA jackets to Minnesota youth who are starting their FFA career, and for the sixth consecutive year, MFU was the single largest sponsor to the program!  Out of 105 donors and 193 jackets sponsored, the Minnesota Farmers Union was the single largest contributor once again, sponsoring 30 jackets.

“The Blue Jackets Bright Future program is a valuable program providing students with an FFA jacket to support their FFA involvement.  A personalized FFA jacket provides recipients with a sense of pride while giving them ownership of their FFA experiences,” says Lavyne Rada, Minnesota FFA Association Leadership Development Coordinator.  “FFA plays an important role in developing agricultural and leadership skills in students while preparing them for their future careers.”

“The jacket is a symbol of tradition and pride for those who have worn the official FFA jacket. Many past members have sponsored jackets, but it’s not uncommon for individuals and companies to sponsor jackets because they appreciate what the organization does to develop young leaders,” said Val Aarsvold, Minnesota FFA Foundation Executive Director.

For more information about the Minnesota FFA Foundation’s Blue Jacket Bright Future program, contact Val Aarsvold at 507-534-0188 or visit



By Amanda V

  Tentative agenda for Minnesota Farmers Union’s State Convention

Friday, November 21

7 – 9 p.m.      Reception hosted by Farmers Union Insurance Agency  (Itasca Room)

Saturday, November 22

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 led by Gene Paul with NFO;

    Pledge of Allegiance lead by State FFA officer (invited)

    Greeting from State FFA officer (invited);

    Present & adopt proposed convention rules by Markell Vogt of the Rules Committee; and adopt minutes of 2012 convention

9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.: AT&T assistance, 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.      Bruce Abbe, Midwest Shippers, Ag Transportation (invited)

10:30 a.m.      Policy discussion

11:30 a.m.      Lunch break with MN-grown food (Memphis)

12:15 p.m.     Barb Anderson Farmers Union Agency & Rodney Allebach, President, Farmers Union Agency, Health Care & MNSURE update

1:00 p.m.       Reconvene (Salon ABC)

                      Gary Wertish, MFU Vice President

1:15 p.m.       Dave Frederickson, MN Commissioner of Agriculture - confirmed

1:30 p.m.       Pollinator presentation

2:00 p.m.       Policy discussion

3:20 p.m.       Recognition of County Presidents

3:25 p.m.       Credentials report

(3:30 registration closes; opens Sunday 8:30 - 9:30 am)

3:30 p.m.       Chandler Goule V.P. National Farmers Union Gov’t Relations (invited)      

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)

                      Achievement Awards Ceremony

                      Doug Peterson, MFU President                      

8:00 p.m.       MFU fundraiser auction

Sunday, November 24

6:30 a.m.        Free omelet breakfast for MFU members (Itasca Room; ends at 8:30 a.m.)

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;

                       MFU Youth Advisory Council Report

                       FUE Leadership Couple report by Bryan & Jennifer Klabunde; and

     Membership and Outreach Report by Bruce Miller

     Update on MFU Veterans Program

9:25 a.m.        Bylaws Committee Report by Markell Vogt, Bylaws Committee Chair

9:30 a.m.        Update from FSA on new Farm bill programs

 (9:30 a.m. registration closes – time certain)

9:45 a.m.        Special Orders

10:00 a.m.      Policy discussion

11:10 a.m.      Credentials Committee report (final count of registered delegates)

11:15 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



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

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:

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.

For archived news, please see Press Releases

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