Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Wertish new vice president; Farm Bureau honors several

Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 12/10/2009 10:32 AM

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By Janet Kubat Willette

Agri News staff writer 

MINNEAPOLIS -- Gary Wertish is the new vice president of Minnesota Farmers Union.

Wertish, of Renville County, farms with his son, Tom, raising corn, soybeans and navy beans. They also finish hogs and cattle.

Wertish has been a MFU field representative for the past two years. He took leave from that position to run for vice president.

Wertish was elected Sunday from a pool of four candidates at the 68th annual convention of the Minnesota Farmers Union. Also running were Tim Henning of Nobles County, Scott Hoese of Carver County and Tim Velde of Yellow Medicine County.

Wertish thanked the others for running and said it was good for the organization to have four people run to fill the seat left open by the retirement of longtime vice president Dennis Sjodin.

In his acceptance speech, Wertish called Sjodin to the front and asked him to be his mentor.

Sjodin congratulated all the candidates on a nice campaign and told Wertish he wished him the best of luck.

Delegates used instant runoff voting in the vice presidential election, which is called for in MFU bylaws and policy. In this process, the candidates were ranked by the voting delegates and the winning candidate needed to get 50 percent push a fraction to win.

Meanwhile in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota Farm Bureau members gathered for their 91st annual meeting Thursday through Saturday.

Neil Rockstad of Norman County earned the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award. Rockstad and his wife, Elizabeth, raise soybeans, wheat and sugar beets.

Greg and Charity Vold of Pope County earned the Excellence in Agriculture Award. The Volds milk cows and raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa and rye.

Keith Allen of Olmsted County won the Discussion Meet. Allen and his wife, Morgan, raise registered Oberhalise dairy goats. He is employed by AgroChem as a territory sales representative.

All three finalists earned an expenses-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Seattle.

Read more about the conventions in the next issue of Agri News