Wisconsin Farmers Union: Von Ruden re-elected Farmers Union President

Contact: Danielle Endvick
WFU Communications Director
[email protected] or 715.471.0398

Von Ruden re-elected Farmers Union President

APPLETON – Westby dairy farmer Darin Von Ruden has been re-elected president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. Delegates at the Wisconsin Farmers Union’s 85th Annual State Convention in Appleton this weekend voted to give Von Ruden, who was first elected in 2010, another one-year term on the board of directors.

Von Ruden, 48, is a lifelong Farmers Union member, and since 2007 has served as the organization’s District 5 director, representing Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk, and Vernon counties. He also leads the WFU Foundation Board of Directors, serves on the National Farmers Union Board and is chairman of the NFU Membership Committee. With help from his wife, JoAnn, he is the third generation to work and own the family farm, which he is gradually transferring to his son, Brett. His parents, Dale and Dorothea, and daughter, Alyssa, also help on the farm.

In his presidential address, Von Ruden said an emphasis will be placed on fighting for fair prices for family farmers and against consolidation and excessive price hikes in agricultural inputs.

“We will continue to work to expand WFU as the reasoned voice for the state’s family farmers and rural people,” Von Ruden said. “With a dismal market outlook forecasted for Wisconsin farmers this year, it will be more important than ever that we stand strong as a voice for fair prices for family farmers. We’ll also continue our work on behalf of rural schools, broadband access, fair trade, conservation and campaign finance reform, among other issues.”

He noted membership in the organization continues to grow, up 10 percent in the past year. Attendance at WFU Kamp Kenwood, the organization’s youth camp near Chippewa Falls, also increased, hitting the highest levels since the 1980s.

Von Ruden has been active with WFU at the local, county and state levels, earning membership recruitment awards. A patron member of the Westby Cooperative Creamery, he was also a founding member of Wisconsin Farmers Union Specialty Cheese, chairman of the Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Guild and a founding member of the Upper Midwest Milk Producers Association. He is a past delegate to the Farmers Union Marketing and Processing Association, and in 1996-1997 was a member of Gov. Tommy Thompson’s Cheese Pricing Task Force.

Von Ruden is the 11th president in WFU’s 85-year history. He divides his time between travel, the WFU state office in Chippewa Falls and its legislative office in Madison.