OLIVIA — Two major speakers will highlight the Minnesota National Farmers Organization convention Dec. 4 at Max’s Grille in Olivia. The event begins at 9:30 a.m., with Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and National Farmers vice president Bruce Shultz of Montana.

Petersen is a long-time resident of Royalton Township near Pine City, where he lives on a horse farm. Before being appointed ag commissioner, he served as director of government relations for Minnesota Farmers Union since 2002, working on behalf of MFU’s farmer-members in both Washington D.C. and St. Paul.

Petersen spent most of his life working for his family’s horse and farm business. He has a wide range of experience in state and federal farm policy and travels to almost every county in Minnesota each year to fully understand how these policies affect farmers’ daily lives.

Shultz and his wife, Wendy, have operated a cow-calf ranch in Raynesford, Montana since 2000. He has a degree in forestry resource management from the University of Montana.

Prior to being elected vice president, Shultz was a national director for Montana for three years and has held other offices for the organization. He has organized sales of cattle, cows and calves for National Farmers members for 25 years.

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In addition to the speakers, convention attendees will vote on a national director position. Don Koep, Clitherall, is up for reelection. There will also be commodity reports by staff members from grain, livestock and dairy divisions, as well as reports on legislative issues and organic production.

Some of the issues to be covered will be consolidation in agricultural markets, food security in dairy and livestock industries, and Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).