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Von Ruden Re-Elected President of Wisconsin Farmers Union
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/06/2018

Vernon County dairy producer Darin Von Ruden was elected to his ninth term as president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. The Westby farmer was voted in by his colleagues during the group's annual convention in Wisconsin Dells last weekend.

A lifelong member of the WFU, Darin has served as the group's District 5 director for the past 11 years. He also leads the WFU Foundation Board of Directors, serves on the National Farmers Union Board and is chairman of the NFU Membership Committee.

"Many commodities are really struggling right now, and it's an important time to talk about change," Von Ruden said in his annual address. "We've been seeing changes over the last few decades--growing consolidation in the ag sectors, outside investment in farm land, and a number of issues that are hurting family farmers. We as farmers need to take these challenges on and work to create a system where we are treated as price-setters rather than price-takers."

Also during the meeting, Lauren Langworthy, Wheeler, was elected as the new District 2 director. She replaces Dennis Rosen of Emergald, who served for 41 years on the board. Chris Holman of Custer and Tina Hinchley from Cambridge were re-elected to their director positions.

Meanwhile, several members were honored with Builders Awards, which is one of the highest honors the organization gives out to supporters. This year's recipients included Michael & Nancy Slattery, Maribel; Anthony & Claire Statz, Prairie du Sac; and Dave & Lorelei Swanepoel, Glenwood City.

Pam Gebert of the Taylor-Price Farmers Union earned the Go-Getter Award at the convention for youth recruitment. The Chippewa, South Central, St. Croix and Wood-Portage-Waupaca chapters received recognition for excelling in membership growth.

And Friend of the Family Farmer awards were presented to Rep. Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point and the Pheasants Forever of Wisconsin Farm Bill Biologists (Becky Brathal, Tally Hamilton, Gretchen Oleson and Julie Peterson), who collaborated with Farmers Union on Women Caring for the Land programming around the state in 2017.

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