The Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) held its 71st annual state convention on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18. Policy and special orders were passed, and delegates were elected for the National Farmers Union Convention in Springfield, Massachusetts, March 2-5.
“The delegates at our convention had an opportunity to express concerns and make changes to our policy – everyone has a voice in Minnesota Farmers Union,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “That is why our convention is so important because our members discuss the crucial issues of rural Minnesota and make changes to our policy that will improve the future of family farmers and rural communities.”
The MFU delegates passed a special order of business urging Congress to pass, and the president to sign, a five-year farm bill by the end of the year. The special order also expressed that MFU is opposed to any extension of the current, expired farm bill. The delegates addressed the expiring estate and depreciation taxes, and passed resolutions in support of local food, renewable energy, and property tax relief.
There was a distinguished group of speakers at the convention, including: Governor Mark Dayton; Senator Al Franken; Representative-elect Rick Nolan; Tom Landwehr, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner; Jerry Hasnedl, CHS Chairman of the Board; Don Baloun, Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist; Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner; Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union President, 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 Norma Hanson of Goodridge; Distinguished Service Award to David Velde of Alexandria; Youth Education Award to Maydean Petersen of Willmar; and Outstanding Agricultural Reporting to Chad Smith of Redwood Falls.