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Farmers from throughout Wisconsin will gather in Wisconsin Dells at Chula Vista Resort from December 8th to 10th for the 93rd Annual Wisconsin Farmers Union State Convention.
"Our annual convention remains the premier opportunity for farmers to unite, gain insights from agricultural peers and experts, and shape grassroots policies that champion a shared vision for the future of family farm agriculture," said WFU President Darin Von Ruden.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Zephyr Teachout, a Professor of Law at Fordham Law School in New York, where she instructs on corporations, election law, antitrust, and prosecuting white-collar crime. Her book Break 'em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money (2020) argues that workers, farmers, and citizens need to reclaim power from corporate masters for democracy to function.
The convention weekend kicks off at noon on Friday, December 8th, with a pre-conference Groundswell event, “Navigating the Nexus of Groundwater, Agriculture, and Conservation.” The keynote speaker of the pre-convention event will be Jim VandenBrook, who served as the executive director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association until 2018 and previously served as Water Quality Section Chief with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
The official convention kicks off at 9 am on Saturday with a presidential address followed by workshops on diversifying farm profits, dairy policy, infrastructure and rural revitalization, and the 2023 Farm Bill. The weekend will also feature ample networking time, the Torchbearer award ceremony for youth program graduates, and a celebration of rural champions.
The WFU Foundation Fundraiser dinner, starting at 6:00 pm on Friday, will raise proceeds for educational activities at Farmers Union summer camps. Admission to the dinner is $20/person for adults or $10 for youth. Tickets are available at www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/convention. WFU is soliciting raffle baskets, products, art, or other donations for live and silent auctions at the convention. If you are interested in donating, please contact Brad Henderson at 715-214-7244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the final day of the convention, members will elect two delegates to represent Wisconsin at the National Farmers Union Convention on March 10-12, 2024, in Scottsdale, AZ. They will also elect directors for the WFU Board from District 2 (Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, and St. Croix Counties), District 6 (Adams, Columbia, Green Lake, Juneau, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waupaca, Waushara, and Wood Counties), and District 7 (Dane, Jefferson, Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties).
The convention is open to the public, but only member delegates may vote on policy issues. Early bird rates end on November 17th. Visit www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com/convention for more details and to register. Organizations interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the event can find a link on the page as well.
Wisconsin Farmers Union, a member-driven organization, is committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities, and all people through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors, and civic engagement. For more information, visit www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com.