Former MFU President honored by National Farmers Union

SAN FRANCISCO – Former Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson received a meritorious service award from National Farmers Union (NFU) at its 121st anniversary convention, held March 5-7 in San Francisco.

Peterson served as the president of Minnesota Farmers Union for 14 years, retiring in 2016. Prior to that, he taught art, coached football and gymnastics, and farmed. He was the NFU secretary for 10 years and chaired the Farmers Union Enterprises board of directors from 2002 to 2016. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representative in 1990 and re-elected five times. He founded the Right to Be Rural Coalition in the House and served as its chairman.

At MFU, Peterson founded the Minnesota Cooks program, which brings together those who value and support a sustainable food system; worked on the Farm Fresh Road Trip program, which earned an Emmy; and brought coffee to the Minnesota Farmers Union building at the Minnesota State Fair.

In awarding Peterson the award for Meritorious Service to Farmers Union and American Agriculture, MFU President Gary Wertish said Peterson never wavered in his support of family farmers.

“Doug’s roots in agriculture go deep in western Minnesota and he’s always supported family farm agriculture,” Wertish said. “I never wondered where Doug stood on an issue. I always knew he’d support family farmers, be it through creating a nation-leading biofuels program or creating a local food program, Doug always put farmers first.”

“Congratulations to Doug on this honor and for his years of service to Farmers Union,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “Doug has been a champion for farmers and rural communities for his entire career, whether it was his work in the Minnesota Legislature, or as the president of Minnesota Farmers Union.”

Peterson now focuses on creating art. His work has been displayed at Vermillion Gallery, St. Louis Park, Minn.; St Paul Gallery, St. Paul, Minn.; Raedeke Gallery, Nisswa, Minn.; Midwest Fly Fishing Expo and Waters of Superior on Canal Street, Duluth, Minn. He was also featured in The Meander Art Crawl in western Minnesota.

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.

# # #

Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (