ST. PAUL (May 23, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union would like to congratulate Alexis Lee Strong, daughter of Pete and Jennifer Nelson of Sauk Centre, for winning the Minnesota Farmers Union’s (MFU) FFA essay contest. Alexis was awarded $1,000 for the Sauk Centre Area FFA Chapter, and a trip to Washington, D.C. when MFU goes on their annual fly-in in September. A parent or her advisor will be accompanying her to Washington, D.C. A thank you and congratulations also goes out the Sauk Centre FFA Advisor, Mr. Duane Lichy, for his guidance.
MFU asked FFA students statewide to write a 500-750 word essay in response to this question, “How can farmers and rural communities work toward implementing a national food security policy to combat hunger on a regional and national level? “
St. Paul (May 22, 2013) - Have your child join Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) for a day camp in your area this summer. MFU professional camp counselors will be traveling around the state teaching the difference between cooperatives and cooperation, while most importantly having fun! Each day camp is unique, with a different combination of crafts, games, lessons, songs, and skits all in the great outdoors. These activities are designed to enhance each day-camper’s leadership skills—the building blocks of strong rural communities—in an entertaining and engaging setting outside of the classroom.
"Kids love to do hands-on activities, and the Minnesota Farmers Union day camps are a great opportunity for kids to get their hands dirty, learn something about farms and rural communities and have some fun this summer,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “The kids will be enjoying themselves so much, they won’t even know they are learning!”
MFU holding day camps throughout the state, and they are:
Saturday, June 8 1 – 4 p.m. Lake Crystal Area Rec. Center
ST. PAUL (May 9, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) has announced twelve participants for their 2013 Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI), four of which are Minnesotans: Eric Hoese of Mayer; Carsten Thomas of Moorhead; and Brent Krohn and Bryce Krohn of Nicollet.
“The BFI program targets young family famers and will hone their leadership and farming skills by showing them the tools they will need to make it a go; and give them the resources necessary for their farming journey,” said Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson. “I congratulate the four Minnesota members for their inclusion in the BFI program and look forward to working with them as the next generation of family farmers.”
Each participant chooses focus areas, and tailors their goals directly to their farming practices.
ST. PAUL (April 29, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson recently returned from the World Farmers Organisation’s (WFO) General Assembly in Nigata, Japan.
“The purpose of the WFO is to bring together farmers from all over the world to discuss policies, practices and practicalities of farming,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “We may come from different parts of the world but the goals, struggles and victories remain the same. Farmers strive to produce the best quality product they can.”
The WFO adopted its first policy on international trade and among its key policy objectives was the need for country-of-origin labeling requirements that allow countries to distinguish their products without distorting trade.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 57 countries, including Canada and Mexico, require some form of country-of-origin labeling for food. These countries account for 94 percent of U.S. trading activity for food and animals.
“It is not a matter of if we are going to trade with other countries,” said Peterson. “It is a matter of how we trade, and having Farmers Union at the table when international trade is being discussed was beneficial to farmers across rural America.”
ST. PAUL (May 1, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) recently held its inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference titled Energizing Women and Growing Our Leadership.
Women are, and have always been, an integral part of the farm and this conference brought women from all across Minnesota together to tap into the leadership skills they already possess from working on the farm, and learning how to use those skills in their community, as well as meet and greet other women to share ideas and stories.
“The women at this conference were incredible. The debates were lively, energetic and informative,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “The speakers lent their expertise and all the women left energized and ready for action!”
ST. PAUL (April 12) – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $53.6 million dollars available to agricultural producers and small businesses through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“Farmers are the original ‘green energy’, bringing innovation to the forefront of operations.” says Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson, “The REAP program aids farmers and ranchers to implement even more of these innovative technologies.”
Funds are available by grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects. Grants are also available for conducting renewable energy system feasibility studies.
Minnesota residents can obtain applications at:
St. Paul (April 9, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson is part of a leadership delegation of National Farmers Union Presidents at the World Farmers Organization (WFO) General Assembly in Niigata, Japan April 15-18.
“This is an opportunity to work side by side with other farmers around the world,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Sharing our different viewpoints will help each individual attending gain new insights to the global agricultural community, strengthening innovation in this community.”
MFU President Doug Peterson will also be joined by: National Farmers Union President, Roger Johnson; North Dakota Farmers Union President, Elwood Barth; South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke; Wisconsin Farmers Union President, Darin Von Ruden; and Montana Farmers Union President, Alan Merrill.
ST. PAUL (March 26, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is hosting the Inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. The number of women farmers in the United States has increased nationally nearly 30 percent since 2002, making women one of the fastest-growing segments of new farmers. More than 40 percent of these new women farmers are under the age of 55, which directly contrasts the aging trend of American farmers.
“I’m extremely excited for MFU to invest in women’s leadership,” said MFU President Doug Peterson “I encourage all women from outside and within the agricultural community spend the weekend growing, sharing and connecting with other motivated women.”
Claudia Svarstad, Vice President of National Farmers Union will be speaking at the Saturday evening banquet, joined by a host of speakers including; Pakou Hang, Hmong American Farmers Assiociation; Leigh Adcock, Director, Women, Food and Agriculture Network; Catherine Gray, Consultant, Clarity Central; Deb Fitzpatrick, Humphrey Institute Director, for Center for Women and Public Policy; Meg Moynihan, Dairy Farmer; Linda Larson, Dakota County Farmers Union, Markell Vogt, MFU Executive Board Member, Jessica Ratka, Participant, Farmers Union Enterprise Leadership Program; and many more.
ST. PAUL (March 21, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union would like to thank farmers and ranchers for their hard work and dedication in honor of Minnesota Agriculture Week, March 17-23.
“Farming and ranching is a vital part of Minnesota’s economy,” says Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson, “Farmers and ranchers are the original green energy. I am proud to stand for farmers in return for all they do for us.”
The U.S. farmer of today produces enough food and fiber for approximately 155 people. This number was 19 people in 1940, 46 people in 1960, and 115 people in 1980.
The Minnesota Agriculture Industry generated approximately $15.1 billion in farm income and over $5 billion in farm exports in 2010.
ST.PAUL (March 8, 2013) – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson was re-elected as National Farmers Union (NFU) Secretary for the coming year at the 111th Anniversary National Farmers Union Convention held March 2-6 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Over 40 MFU members traveled to Massachusetts to set NFU’s policy road map for the coming year. Most important discussions were of another five year farm bill, transparency of post-farm costs in the dairy industry, clarification of food safety practices for farmers, and requirement of the United States Postal Service to continue Saturday mail service.
Requiring conservation compliance in order to be eligible for crop insurance was also an issue of great debate. Limitation of payments were discussed as a viable option, but not adopted. The focus of this discussion was on the impacts brought to family farms, beginning farmers, and southern crop farmers.