ST. PAUL – Nine members of Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) are set to begin a year of

leadership growth and rural advocacy this month.

The grassroots farm organization started the New Leader Academy in 2018 to offer

individuals a place to gain skills for creating and sustaining vibrant communities, as well as how to address local issues and understand various levels of government. The second class will meet for the first time at the 78 th Annual MFU Convention, held Nov. 22-24 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast.

“MFU has a legacy of creating strong leaders in rural Minnesota,” said MFU President Gary Wertish.

“I am hopeful that these people can continue that legacy and make a difference in

agriculture and rural communities with what they learn from the New Leader Academy.”

The people selected for NLA Class Two are:

- Rachel Sannerud of Milaca

- Melany Thomas of Felton

- Jaime Malone of Wadena

- Mary Paul of Clear Lake

- Josie Trople of Northfield

- Fallon Ryan of Brainerd

- Anneliese Walker of Princeton

- Jode Freyholtz-London of Eagle Bend

- Randel Hanson of Duluth

After the first session at the MFU convention, the group will meet on selected weekends, in both rural and urban areas, to experience the diversity of Minnesota. They will also attend the MFU Lobby Day Drive-In during the state legislative session and the National Farmers Union Legislative Fly-In in Washington, D.C. in September 2020.