March 15, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WICHITA, Kan. (March 15, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) today recognized members, county and local organizations, and state divisions for excellence in membership recruitment and outreach in the past year during its 113th Anniversary Convention.

“Peer recruitment is an essential part of growing and maintaining NFU’s 113 year old legacy of outreach and excellence,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The passion and drive that these members, states and divisions have demonstrated in doing just that is humbling.”

Gary Wertish and Bessie Klose, both from Minnesota, received the Silver Star Award.  The Silver Star Award is the highest award a member can achieve for membership recruitment in a given year. This is Wertish’s fourth consecutive year receiving the coveted award.

“It’s hard to imagine what NFU would look like if we all recruited members with the passion demonstrated by Gary Wertish,” noted Johnson. “Bessie Klose has also proven to be an incredible asset to the organization, and her contribution as a recruitment leader is outstanding,” he added. Other members recognized for membership recruitment include: Holly Finnarn and Todd Henkle from Ohio; Tom Farber from South Dakota; Kriss Marion from Wisconsin; and Larry Anderson from Minnesota.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and North Dakota Farmers Union were each recognized and presented an award for their level of membership activity and outreach. Twenty-nine county and local organizations were also recognized for their outstanding contributions.

“NFU’s founders consisted of one newspaperman, one county clerk, one physician, one country schoolteacher and six farmers. And I would be willing to bet that they all had one thing in common: The desire to drive the future of agriculture,” noted Johnson.  113 years later, NFU’s footprint continues to grow, bringing in new blood and new ideas to push family farmer and rancher-friendly policies forward,” said Johnson.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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