Executive Board


Gary Wertish, President

Wertish was elected President of MFU on January 21, 2017. Before that Wertish was elected as MFU Vice President in 2009.  He is a farmer who previously worked as an MFU Field Representative; and worked for Senator Mark Dayton as his Agricultural Director.  He farms with one of his sons raising corn, soybeans, navy beans and finishes out cattle and hogs.  Gary and his wife Jeanne have four grown children and four grandchildren.


Bessie Klose, Secretary

Bessie has served as Minnesota Farmers Union State Secretary, and as a member of the State Executive Board, since 1982. Her involvement with Farmers Union began when she was a participant in youth camps, and received the MFU Torchbearer Award for achievement in education programs. Bessie and her husband, George, ran a dairy farm until 1993, and live on the farm in Kandiyohi County near Atwater.


Alan Perish

Alan is Todd County President and was elected to the MFU Executive Board in 2016. He has attended every state convention since 1999 and has worked hard to make sure that there is always a Farmers Union presence in Todd County. Alan has been a multi-year recipient of the Silver Star Award and several Leadership Awards. Alan also serves as Hartford Township Board Treasurer and has a position on the Region 5 Commission and has been the chair of Todd County Township Officer Association. Alan and his wife, Karen, won the Outstanding Leadership Award in 2011. In 2015, he was presesnted the Orville L. Freeman Award for Distinguished Service to Greater Minnesota and Agricultural Issues. 


Eunice Biel, Vice Chair

Eunice was elected to the MFU Executive Board in 1999. A graphic design artist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Eunice's education includes a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from Winona State University. She and her husband, Robert, in partnership with their son, Kevin, and his wife Kelly, operate a dairy farm near Harmony in Fillmore County. Their family operates 950 acres, and grows corn, soybeans, and hay. Eunice also serves as Fillmore County Farmers Union President.


Larry Jacobson

Larry is Clay County President, and became involved with Farmers Union by participating in youth camps, and received the Torchbearer Award for achievement in education programs. He is the Town Board Chairman, and a member of the Clay County Soybeans Grower Board. He has served as Clay County president for 20 years and raises more than 600 acres of crops with his wife, Regina, on their family farm near Hitterdal.


Dave Johnson

Dave is the West Otter Tail County Farmers Union President. Dave graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead with a business education degree. He was a teacher and coach for 13 years. He raises wheat, corn and soybeans with his son, Darren, and lives on a family farm near Fergus Falls with his wife, Donna. Dave also serves on the Lake Region Health Care Corporation Board, and the Otter Tail County Water Planning Board.