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.