Farmers Union Convention coming Jan. 25 - 27 in Appleton

Wisconsin Farmers Union
Wisconsin Farmers Union

Farmers from across the state will gather at Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley in Appleton Jan. 25-27 for the 88th annual Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU) State Convention. Throughout the weekend, attendees will join in networking, workshops, and the important task of shaping the policy that will guide WFU’s work in 2019.

The weekend kicks off Friday, Jan. 25, with Groundswell, a one-day conference that will empower and educate about how we can organize to protect what matters most to family farms and rural Wisconsin. This event will feature Paul Cienfuegos of Community Rights US and runs from noon to 4:30 p.m. Registration costs $65 for nonmembers (includes one-year WFU family membership) or $35 for members. Lunch is included.

Paul Cienfuegos

The WFU Foundation Fundraiser, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, will raise proceeds for water quality educational activities for Farmers Union summer camps. Admission is $20/person for adults or $10 for youth and includes dinner.

Tickets are available at 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 

Saturday’s workshops will include Starting a Cooperative, Strategies for Resilience, Rural Mental Health, and Farming Against Climate Change.

Attendees will also hear a presidential address from Westby dairy farmer and Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson will also be in attendance and will take part in the featured afternoon panel on consolidation in agriculture. 

The banquet keynote will be Eric Holt-Giménez, author and executive director of Food First. Holt-Giménez grew up milking cows and pitching hay in Point Reyes, California. He’ll share how farmers and consumers can join together to transform our food system and restore justice to American agriculture.

Eric Holt-Giménez

Friends of the Family Farmer and membership awards will be presented during a luncheon on Saturday. Other activities throughout the weekend include a concurrent Youth Co-op Convention, youth program graduation, a silent auction, and film screenings of Searching for Sustainability and Little Pink House.

The convention is open to the public but only member delegates may vote on policy issues. On the final day of convention, delegates will elect directors for the WFU Board, as well as two delegates who will represent WFU at the National Farmers Union Convention March 3 - 5 in Bellevue, Washington.

Early bird rates end Jan. 10. Visit for more details and to register. For more information contact the WFU State Office at 715-723-5561.