Gary Wertish

Gary Wertish

Minnesota Farmers Union will hold its annual convention Nov. 22-24 at Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast. 

New to the convention this year are Friday afternoon informational breakout sessions. There will be three sessions between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 22, focusing on hemp, biofuels and health care. 

The main business of the convention is to debate and pass policy, which comes directly from resolutions from members, elect the organization’s president and vice president and elect delegates to represent Minnesota at the National Farmers Union Convention in Savannah, Georgia, March 1-3, 2020.

“For 78 consecutive years, our members have come together to decide what Farmers Union should advocate for,” Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish said. “It’s how we develop our grassroots policy: Our members have submitted their resolutions at county meetings. We’ll debate at the state level what will become part of our policy, which guides our advocacy in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.

“We encourage our members to attend and advocate for policies that will improve life for family farmers and rural residents.”

Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, is the keynote speaker at the convention banquet, Saturday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. Wallach is a 25-year veteran of congressional trade negotiations and is internationally recognized for her expertise.

“With tariffs and trade agreements at top of mind for family farmers everywhere, it’s important to have Lori come speak to our members and clarify the politics surrounding trade right now,” Wertish said.

Other confirmed speakers include Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN06) and National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew.

The convention will also include Minnesota-grown meals, silent and live fundraiser auctions benefiting Minnesota Farmers Union Foundation and MFUPAC and an exhibit hall. Several state and federal elected officials and staff are expected to attend.

An opening reception Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. will honor retiring FUIA President and general manager Rodney Allebach for his years of service.

A tentative agenda is available at www.mfu.org. All convention activities will be held at Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast, 1330 Industrial Boulevard, Minneapolis.

There is no cost to attend, but meals are ticketed events and RSVP is required. The public is welcome and anyone can register at bit.ly/78MFUrsvp (case sensitive).

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