3 vie for Farmers Union Presidency
As current National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson plans to step down at the end of his term, the organization is preparing for an election for his successor at the annual convention in March.
Three candidates filed to run for the position before the Dec. 31 deadline:
Rob Larew, who was raised on a West Virginia dairy farm, has served as NFU’s senior vice president of public policy and communications since fall 2016. In that role, he oversees the organization’s legislative advocacy in Congress and the executive branch as well as its public relations activities. Prior to his employment with NFU, Larew served over 22 years in Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most recently as the staff director of the House Committee on Agriculture.
Donn Teske has led Kansas Farmers Union as its president since 2001. During that time, he also held the position of National Farmers Union vice president for four years, from 2014 to 2018. Prior to his time at KFU, Donn worked for the Kansas Rural Center and for Kansas State University Agricultural Economics Department as a farm financial analyst. He also serves on the board of a dozen state, regional and national boards concerning agriculture and the environment. A fifth generation farmer, Teske co-owns and operates an organic grain operation in Pottawatomie County with his wife.
Mike Eby has served as spokesperson and chairman for the National Dairy Producers Organization for the last five years. He, his wife, and their four children live on his family’s seventh-generation farm in Lancaster County. Up until 2016, they milked 60 cows, but have since transitioned to grass-fed beef and crops. In addition to his role for NDPO, Eby sits on the board of Pennsylvania Farmers Union and Allied Milk Producers and serves as the president of Family Dairy Farms. Previously, Eby held a number of agriculturally-related jobs, including AI technician, feed salesman and farm radio account executive.
All three candidates will have an opportunity to give a campaign speech at the convention. Elected delegates from Farmers Union state divisions will then select a winner in a weighted vote.