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Hammering Out Policy for a Better Tomorrow — Policy is at the heart of the National Farmers Union Convention. Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish says it is always interesting the way policy is done. "In Minnesota, you have different regions of the state and different types of farmers. We have the same thing on a national level. There are different delegates debating policy. There are regional differences.” MFU delegate Harmon Wilts says the debates can get lengthy. “Some of the long-term renewable fuels type of things has been a focus in Minnesota. Also, the next generation, how do we get them involved? Who will produce our food in the future?” RRFN's coverage of the National Farmers Union Convention is sponsored, in part, by the Minnesota Farmers Union.
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Young Farmers Add Thier Voice to Agriculture Groups — Last year, there was a membership decline for both North Dakota Farmers Union and South Dakota Farmers Union. SDFU President Doug Sombke says part of the decline is due to the aging farmer. Dallas, South Dakota farmer Melissa Wonnenberg attended her first NFU Convention with her husband, Hank. While it's hard to get farmers in their 20s interested in policy, Wonnenberg says young farmers want to be heard. “Some older members say they’re going to do this until the very end. However, they have two options. You can either start letting young people gradually learn or Farmers Union is going to go with you.” NDFU hosts a young farmers leadership training. NDFU President Mark Watne says it’s expensive to do, but it’s good to get others interested. RRFN's coverage is sponsored, in part, by the South Dakota Farmers Union.
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Kansas Remains Dry — Wheaton, Kansas farmer Donn Teske, who has served as the National Farmers Union vice president, says it’s been a good winter for the beef cattle, but stock ponds are getting low. “What’s really scary right now is our rural fire departments have been fighting fires right and left. This is an unusual time a year for that to happen. In mid-April, farmers will start controlled burning ground. Uncontrolled burns are really dangerous, really scary and life-threatening. What roared up through Kansas last year, it appears to be a perfect storm to do it again.”
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