Happy New Year! As we amble into 2017, I hope you'll consider joining me and other farmers from across the state Jan. 27-29 at the 86th annual Wisconsin Farmers Union State Convention at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Join us for this family-friendly weekend of fun and fellowship, as we put the democratic process to work shaping our policy for the coming year. Early-bird registration ends Jan. 12th, so be sure to register soon, if you haven’t already.
The weekend will kick off at noon on Fri., Jan. 27 with a preconvention 'Groundswell' workshop, focused on building a vibrant future for Farmers Union and rural Wisconsin. We're pleased to welcome Doug O'Brien, former senior policy analyst for Rural Affairs for the White House, as the keynote for this inspiring event. Doug will share his thoughts on where rural America is headed and how we can join together to shape the future of our rural communities for the next generation.
That evening, we’re celebrating the legacy of Wisconsin Farmers Union Kamp Kenwood with a WFU Foundation fundraiser dedicated to raising funds for facilities improvements at the historic camp. Enjoy a buffet, networking, raffles and a live auction. Admission is $50 per person.
This year we're focusing on the diversity of Farmers Union and the shared values that bring us together with a special panel following our theme of Cultivating Rural Values. Saturday's workshops will delve into some of the big issues faced by our family farms and rural towns across the state, as we look at dairy policy, consolidation in agriculture, conservation efforts, and more!
We're excited to welcome Bruce Muirhead, a professor from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, who will share his research on the impact of dairy supply management on Canadian family farms. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson will also be on hand to share A Look at the Next Farm Bill.
Consider registering as a voting delegate (if you're a current WFU member) and join in Saturday's policy discussion, where members will reason together on the issues facing rural Wisconsin and shape the policy that will guide WFU through the coming year.
During the weekend, you'll also have the opportunity to hear from National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson, who will give us his take on the upcoming Farm Bill and NFU priorities for the coming year.
Saturday's banquet will wrap up with the traditional Torchbearer Ceremony and a chance to meet the candidates and incumbents running for a position on the WFU Board of Directors.
We'll finish things up on Sunday with a breakfast buffet, interfaith ecumenical service and the completion of policy discussion.
Youth will enjoy the concurrent Youth Co-op Convention, geared toward students in 7-12th grade and a Torchbearer’s Award Presentation for our youth program graduates.
Head over to the Convention page under the Events tab here at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com to view the tentative agenda, convention program and sponsorship information, or feel free to call the WFU State Office at 715-723-5561 with questions.
We hope to see you there. The Wisconsin Farmers Union staff and board wish you a happy and prosperous 2017!