Farmers’ convention to be held this weekend

Published 6:25 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

The annual state convention of Minnesota National Farmers Organization will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Victorian Inn in Hutchinson.

State President Joe Neaton of Watertown will call the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

Two Prominent NFO leaders will share the spotlight as guest speakers. One is Paul Riniker, a national board member from Greely, Iowa, who is running for national vice president of the organization. The current vice president, Ron Mattos, of California, will not seek another term.

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Riniker operates a 500-acre row crop and bay operation in northeast Iowa. He was also a dairyman for 28 years. He is a second generation NFO member; his parents became lifetime members in 1966.

The second speaker will be Dr. Richard A. Levins, a former agricultural economics professor at the University of Minnesota, and currently an NFO consultant. He has written several books on collective bargaining and has worked with labor unions across the country as well as with National Farmers.

In addition, National Director Mark Rohr of Bluffton, Minn., has announced he is running for national president of the organization. He will be asking for members’ support at both the state and national conventions. He is a second generation member and dairy farmer and has held a variety of leadership positions with National Farmers.

The current national president, Paul Olson, of Taylor, Wis., has been invited to attend.

Other speakers will be Brad Rach of the dairy department, Travis Parsons covering grain issues and marketing, and Robert Hendrickson speaking in the livestock department.

A beef dinner will be provided at noon. A silent auction of pies and desserts will be held in the afternoon with proceeds going to a local food shelf.

The convention will include elections for one national director and an alternate. This year the term of Leander Wagner is up. Leander has announced he will run for re-election.

The national elections will be held Feb. 2 in Des Moines at the national convention.