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121119NFURogerJohnson800.jpg Photo courtesy National Farmers Union
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson

NFU president Roger Johnson to retire in March

North Dakota native has led National Farmers Union for 11 years

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson will not seek reelection next year. His term will end at the organization’s annual convention in March, at which point an election for his successor will be held.

During his eleven-year tenure, Johnson has led efforts to fight corporate consolidation in the agriculture industry, help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change, develop fair international trade agreements, provide information and resources to rural communities struggling with mounting stress and opioid misuse, and ensure the economic and social viability of family farm agriculture.

"Roger Johnson has been a leader in our community for as long as I've been around Washington," said Todd Van Hoose, Farm Credit Council president and CEO. His retirement "will create a void in agriculture circles in Washington."

Prior to leading NFU, Johnson served as North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner and as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Johnson, a third-generation family farmer from Turtle Lake, North Dakota, grew up in Farmers Union, participating in the organization’s youth programs and serving as a county president and chairman of the board of a local Farmers Union cooperative.

“Farmers Union has been a fundamental part of my identity for my entire life – and it has been my greatest honor to serve this organization and the admirable farmers and ranchers who comprise its membership," Johnson said. "It’s a bittersweet feeling to take a step back from this career-defining role, but ultimately, it’s time for me to spend more time with my wife and four grandchildren."

Johnson said he's confident that NFU is well-positioned to transition to a new leader.

“Compared to where we were eleven years ago, today we are more financially secure, our membership is growing, and we have built our reputation as a leader for progressive agriculture – all thanks to our highly capable and dedicated team," he said. "My decision will change none of these things. While I enjoy my quiet retirement, I am sure that Farmers Union staff and members will continue the organization’s 117-year-long mission to build a better, more sustainable, and more equitable food system.”

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