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Minnesota Farmers Union delegates return from convention

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) members recently returned from the National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Marvin and Marlys Jensen of Kensington were part of the MFU delegation.

“The National Farmers Union Convention is such a wonderful time because farmers from all across the country get together to discuss issues that are important to family farmers, and pass policy that is used as a guide when pushing for common-sense policies in Congress,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union president.

Farmers Union delegates re-elected president Roger Johnson and elected a new vice president, Donn Teske, who currently serves as Kansas Farmers Union president and is a fifth generation farmer. He replaces outgoing vice president Claudia Svarstad.

The NFU board unanimously reelected MFU president Doug Peterson as NFU secretary.

During the convention, speakers announced that the NFU Feeding America campaign raised $196,000 for those who are hungry. Peterson served as honorary chair of the campaign.

“Everyone deserves a place at the table, but sometimes people do not have the resources needed to get the nutrition they need, and as farmers, we believe in helping those who are food insecure find their way to the table,” Peterson said.

MFU attendees heard from Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture; Bart Fischer, chief economist, House Agriculture Committee; Joe Shultz, chief economist, Senate Agriculture Committee; Alexis Taylor, chief of staff, Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture and a farm bill update panel with Sara Wyant, president, Agri-Pulse Communications.

There was also a state agriculture policy panel that included Colorado agriculture commissioner John Salazar, New Mexico director/secretary of agriculture Jeff Witte and Wyoming director of agriculture Jason Fearneyhough.

Along with passing policy, convention delegates passed seven special orders of business addressing varying aspects of agriculture, which can be found at