MFU Seeks Candidates for Directors in 2022 Elections
Montana Farmers Union is issuing a call for candidates for its 2022 elections.
“A contested election is healthy for the board and the membership. It encourages the debate of ideas and creates a better leadership group,” MFU President Walter Schweitzer said.
The two-year Vice President position, as well as three-year Director terms for Districts 2, 6 and 5/6 At-Large are up for grabs at this year’s annual convention to be held Oct. 14-15 in Helena.
The one-year Doorkeeper and Conductor positions also will be decided in October.
Nominating petitions for the VP, board and other positions must be completed – including five nominating signatures from other MFU members in the candidate’s district – and returned to the state office via mail or email by August 30. Candidates must have been an MFU member for at least three years and be in good standing, as well as live and/or farm in the district in which they are running.
Candidates should have a dedication to and concern for the well-being and preservation of family farms and ranches and rural communities.
It was such an interest in rural communities and access to rural healthcare that inspired Brett Dailey to run for the board to represent District 4. Now, several terms in, Dailey encouraged others to run if they too have an interest in family farms and rural communities.
“Farmers Union does an awful lot of good things, whether it’s with grant programs, scholarships or our support of various ag- and rural-related things,” Dailey said.
The organization has strong connections at the state and federal level with policy makers, which enables Montana producers’ voices to be amplified at a national level.
“The other thing that should really attract someone to a director’s position is how hands on this organization is in developing a Farm Bill,” Dailey said, alluding to the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill.
People have become more aware of MFU’s many facets in recent years, Dailey said, adding that he hopes the growing awareness translates into interest in running for leadership positions in the organization.
“My big hope would be that young people would step up and be hungry for the position,” he added.
The board plays an active role in the organization’s Foundation and in projects that MFU pursues, including the formation of co-ops like the newly formed Montana Premium Processing Cooperative set to begin processing meat in Havre this year.
“It gives a sense of accomplishment to see these ideas come to fruition,” Schweitzer said, adding the work is enjoyable and impactful.
The VP and Director positions require attendance of board meetings as well as to various MFU events and legislative and lobbying efforts on behalf of MFU priorities, although the time requirement is flexible to accommodate a farming and ranching lifestyle.
While the positions are not paid, expenses for meetings and travel are eligible for reimbursement and directors receive a daily stipend when attending board meetings and other events on behalf of MFU.
“If you would like to help guide Montana Farmers Union in to the future, please, consider running for the board,” Schweitzer said. “We need our members to step up and help lead this organization.”
For more information, including a map of the districts and the nominating petition form, visit montanafarmersunion.com/convention-2022.
Press Information: montanafarmersunion.com/media-press-kit/
MFU President Walter Schweitzer: 406-799-3782
Montana Farmers Union has worked more than 100 years for family farms, ranches, and rural communities. MFU supports its members through: Strong education programs for both youth and adults, by advocating member-driven policies and legislation at the state and federal level, and cooperation through producer-owned co-ops. For more information, visit montanafarmersunion.com.