The farmers union Youth programs
since 1930, providing opportunities to develop Leadership, Cooperation, Activism, and Good Citizenship.
Purpose & history
The Farmers Union youth program was formed by the early founders of the Farmers Union in Wisconsin. In 1934, these members realized the strength of the organization was in its youth. An understanding of the Farmers Union itself and its affiliated cooperatives was a must if the objective of a better quality of life for rural people was to become a reality.
This ideal has not changed. The membership of the Farmers Union has been strengthened by the education of its young members. The youth program has been recognized as an effective tool for developing leadership in many walks of life. Program topics and activities stress cooperation, leadership, a concern for others and pride in our rural communities and family farms. Cooperative educational grants from the CHS Foundation and cooperative education funds from local co-ops help to support Wisconsin Farmers Union youth activities
The youth events foster a sense of community and celebrate the achievements of young program participants. These gatherings provide a platform for youth to come together, share their accomplishments, and inspire one another.
Youth program goals
Develop leaders for our organization and our country
Teach youth about cooperatives and cooperative principles
Nurture the values of good citizenship & social responsibility in youth
Inspire youth to be activists in their communities & for our country
Instill a sense of pride in our youth's rural heritage
Provide youth a thorough understanding of the importance of maintaining a strong family farm agricultural structure in the United States and its contribution to the following:
the vibrancy of our rural communities, economically and socially
consumers in regard to food safety and security
the ideals of our constitution and our country's economic stability by maintaining democracy in regard to land ownership
our environment through responsible stewardship of the land
a cooperative business structure
"We Love Our Country Best When We Strive to Make it Best"
Blue of the sky that covers us all, Gold of the grain that feeds us all.
Bluebell and Buttercup - Flowers of the Field
To build a better world for all
To build a prosperous agriculture
To build a strong Farmers Union
awards & opportunities
Junior youth awards
After youth complete their first year of enrolled youth work, they receive a Farmers Union Junior Youth banner with a number "1" seal, and a youth pin. For each succeeding year that they are active in the program, a new seal is awarded indicating the year of work completed. Junior Youth begin work in the 1st Grade, or any time after (up to 6 Grade).
Fourth Year Junior Camp Scholarship
Free camp session.
Senior youth awards
After youth complete their first year of Senior level work, they receive a Farmers Union Senior Youth banner with a number "1" seal. If they have not also completed Junior Work, they receive the youth pin at this time. For each succeeding year in the program, a new seal is awarded.
Senior Youth begin work in the 7th Grade, or any time after (up to 12th Grade).
second year senior award
THIRD YEAR SENIOR CAMP SCHOLARSHIP
Free camp session.
Free trip to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Bus day trip includes CHS & other fun locations (Science Museum, Mall of America, etc.).
all-states leadership summit
National Farmers Union All States Leadership Summit. Four years of Senior Youth work and attendance at two Senior or Junior High Youth Camps required. Minimal registration fee waived if youth sign up three new WFU members.
Five years of Senior work completed. This highest award for Farmers Union Youth is presented at a special ceremony at the state convention; eligible youth attend the convention at no cost.
Farmers Union camp
Camps are among the most important features of the Farmers Union education program because they combine the cooperative learning and skills building with the fun of meeting new people and enjoying recreational activities. They stimulate interest in the organization and its goals and help develop leadership for the future.
The Farmers Union camp program began in 1934. Many thousands of Farmers Union members have taken part in camps since that time.
youth recognition event
Some county Farmers Union organizations set aside a special day for an Achievement Program to honor the young people completing youth work and their Youth Leaders.
This is a great opportunity for youth to display their talents in program planning, public speaking, music, drama or other skills.
For example, youth may facilitate the entire program, speak on
their experience at a Farmers Union event like camp or convention, or provide a display or scrapbook of Farmers Union photos.
Youth Leaders should make every effort to set the deadline for completion of the year's youth work well ahead of the state cut-off date of September 30. Award pins and certificate seals are sent out from the state office as soon as the Youth Leaders submit the youth completions. In this way, adequate time will be available for planning an Achievement Program that can include the distribution of these awards.
If you have photographs or newspaper clippings of Farmers Union Youth in action at the local level, please try to send/email a copy to the WFU Education Director. Examples of successful group or individual activities are helpful resources for new leaders, and may also be featured in the WFU News.