Author Sarah Vogel speaks at MFU annual convention

ST. PAUL – Sarah Vogel, author of “The Farmer’s Lawyer: The North Dakota Nine and the Fight to Save the Family Farm,” was the keynote speaker at the 81st annual Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) banquet.

Vogel, of Bismarck, N.D., is an attorney and former politician whose career has focused on family farmers and ranchers. In 1988, Vogel became the first woman in U.S. history to be elected as a state commissioner of agriculture. In 2006, the American Agricultural Law Association awarded her its Distinguished Service Award for contributions to the field of agriculture law, and Willie Nelson honored her at Farm Aid’s 30th anniversary in 2015 for her service to farmers.

“I’ve known Sarah for years. She has spent her career protecting family farmers and advocating for farmer’s rights,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “The groundbreaking work she did in the 1980s was critical to the survival of many family farmers and many of the programs that are so crucial to farmer’s rights today were started by Sarah and her colleagues during the dark days of the 1980s farm crisis. It was an honor to have her join us at convention.”

Rob Larew, president of National Farmers Union also spoke to the more than 325 members and guests gathered for the banquet.

“Minnesota Farmers Union continues to lead the fight for fair treatment of family farmers,” Larew said. “We have many challenges facing us today as monopolization of agriculture, climate change, and razor-thin farm margins continue to threaten the viability of our communities. By working together, the Farmers Union family is best equipped to meet these challenges head-on and to the benefit of farmers and consumers alike.”

The 81st annual Minnesota Farmers Union State Convention continues Sunday at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast, 1330 Industrial Blvd. N.E., Minneapolis.

There is no charge to attend the convention, but meals are ticketed events. A tentative convention agenda can be found on the Minnesota Farmers Union website.

About Minnesota Farmers Union

Minnesota Farmers Union 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 everyone. Learn more and join at and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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