Erskine, Minnesota – Farmers Union youth from across the nation recently gathered for the 86th National Farmers Union (NFU) All-States Leadership Retreat, held at the Lake Sarah Campground, managed by the Minnesota Farmers Union in Polk County, Minnesota. 

The retreat provided an immersive experience for participants, aged 18 to 22, who engaged in a variety of educational and leadership activities. Highlights included an interactive lesson on cooperative business principles, an exploration of Farmers Union history, a mock convention and legislative fly-in simulation, and the election of the 2024-25 National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC). These elected members will represent the youth of Farmers Union at the upcoming NFU Legislative Fly-In this fall and at the 2025 NFU National Convention. 

This year’s attendees were privileged to hear from esteemed speakers, including Stu Lourey, Minnesota Farmers Union’s government relations director, and Mike Stranz, NFU’S vice president of government relations, who shared insights on advocacy and grassroots policymaking. Attendees also enjoyed a history presentation from Farmers Union historian Tom Giessel, and an interactive co-op development lesson from Collectivity consultant Katie Marty. These sessions were designed to inspire and equip the young leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively advocate for agricultural communities. 

During the retreat, six exemplary individuals were elected to serve on the NFU NYAC for the 2024-25 term: 

  • Chaz Blotsky (South Dakota) 
  • Aeriel Eitreim (South Dakota) 
  • Rebecca Willer (North Dakota) 
  • Ozzie Skogen (North Dakota) 
  • Julia Keddy (Minnesota) 
  • Rebecca Keddy (Minnesota) 

The newly elected NYAC members will continue to develop their leadership skills through various opportunities, including participation in NFU’s Fall Legislative Fly-In in Washington, D.C. They will also present to the Farmers Union members and guests attending the NFU National Convention in 2025 and contribute to the planning of the 2025 All-States Retreat. 

The All-States Leadership Retreat remains a cornerstone event for NFU, fostering the growth of the next generation of agricultural leaders committed to advancing the interests of family farmers and ranchers nationwide.  

Photos from this year’s All-States Retreat can be found here. 

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