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Minnesota farm conventions back in the flesh this weekend

The Minnesota Farm Bureau's annual meeting and the Minnesota Farmers Union's annual convention are both happening in the Twin Cities this weekend.

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President Kevin Paap of the Minnesota Farm Bureau speaks Monday, May 21, 2018, in favor of bills the governor eventually vetoed.

MINNEAPOLIS — County presidents and elected delegates for Minnesota's biggest farm organizations are back in person this year for their yearly conferences.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau's annual meeting and the Minnesota Farmers Union's annual convention are happening this weekend, after both were held via Zoom last year due to the pandemic.

"People will not only appreciate the opportunity to get together again and celebrate accomplishments, but also to develop our policy for the upcoming year," said Kevin Paap, president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau.

Paap said it's "so much easier" to have "good, solid" policy discussion in an in-person format rather than virtually.

Minnesota Farm Bureau

The Minnesota Farm Bureau's 103rd annual meeting kicks off Nov. 18 and runs through Saturday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington.

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Thursday's activities begin with a reception for Paap, who's retiring after serving 16 years as MFB president. He decided in March not to seek an eighth two-year term. A new president will be elected by MFB members on Friday to succeed him, and Paap said he's not sure how that process would've gone virtually.

"That would've been hard, with multiple candidates and the ability for those candidates to do some campaigning in different district meetings and things like that," said Paap. "That'll be very helpful to do face-to-face."

The two candidates for MFB president are Dan Glessing, current MFB vice president and Shayne Isane, a district representative for MFB. Paap has faith that either candidate would do a good job at the helm.

"They're certainly both qualified," said Paap. "The good news is, that's the delegates' decision — not my decision."

Featured on Saturday's bill at the MFB annual meeting is the Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Contests, a panel on supply chain issues and a keynote address from Mary Lahammer, Twin Cities Public Television host.

For more information on the MFB convention, contact Rachel Reisig at 651-768-2118 or rachel.reisig@fbmn.org.

Minnesota Farmers Union

The Minnesota Farmers Union 2021 convention will also take place this weekend, Nov. 19-21. The 80th annual convention will be held at Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast.

On the Friday agenda for the MFU convention are panels on direct-to-restaurant food safety, carbon markets and corporate control. The carbon markets discussion will be moderated by Hannah Bernhardt, farmer and National Climate Advisory Council member.

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Day two of the MFU convention includes remarks from Anna Euerle, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, and an update on the state's meat processing capacity. National Farmers Union President Rob Larew will speak at the banquet on Saturday night.

For more information or to register for the MFU convention, contact Janet Kubat at 507-696-6961 or janet@mfu.org.

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREMINNESOTA
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