The Farmers Union annual meeting will be held Feb. 7-8 at The Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids. WFU policy will be debated and adopted by members.
On Saturday, Dick Cates, coordinator of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, will moderate a panel discussion on “Wisconsin Working Lands.” DATCP will provide a breakout session to give an overview of what the proposed changes will mean to farmers. Every year, Wisconsin loses 24,000 acres of farmland to development. The Working Lands Initiative is Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen’s effort to save more of Wisconsin’s land for farmland.
On Saturday evening, Tom Buis, National Farmers Union president, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet and Pam Jahnke, Wisconsin farm radio personality, will emcee the banquet.
The WFU torchbearer ceremony for graduation from the WFU youth program will be held during the banquet. State Rep. Phil Garthwaite, D-Lancaster, will serve as auctioneer. WFU plans to auction off a items to help support WFU Kamp Kenwood. Loose Strings, a bluegrass band from the Stevens Point area, will provide music entertainment.
A Sunday morning ecumenical prayer service will be held followed by the election of WFU delegates. Because 2009 will likely be a difficult year on the farm, Kristi Williams from Harvest of Hope will discuss ways Harvest of Hope may be able to assist farmers as well as signs to look for of stress in friends and neighbors. A lender will discuss ag credit from a lender’s prospective and State Rep. Amy Vruwink, the new chair of the Ag Assembly Committee, will speak to the group.
For those who don’t want to drive, a bus will be transporting members from the LaCrosse-Hudson area to Wisconsin Rapids.
There are still rooms available and reservations are still being accepted.
The cost for registration is $55 per person which includes meals. Hotel rooms are available by calling 800-843-6323. Be sure to ask for the Farmers Union rate which is $72 per room.
For more information or to register, call WFU at 800-272-5531 or go to www.wisconsinfarmersunion.com.