Westby, Wis., dairy farmer Darin Von Ruden was re-elected president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union during the organization’s annual convention in Wisconsin Dells. Some 300 members attended.
Von Ruden is a lifelong WFU 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. Von Ruden and his wife, Joann, live in Westby. His family recently transitioned the farm to the fourth generation when their son Brett purchased the machinery and 50-cow dairy herd.
Von Ruden has been active with Farmers Union at the local, state and national levels. He is a seven-time recipient of the Silver Star Award, which is National Farmers Union’s highest recognition of membership development. 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 1996-97 was a member of Gov. Tommy Thompson’s Cheese Pricing Task Force. In recent years, he has represented U.S. farmers as a delegate at World Farmers’ Organisation events.
Von Ruden is the 11th president in WFU’s 87-year history. He divides his time between the WFU state office in Chippewa Falls and its legislative office in Madison.
Lauren Langworthy was elected as District 2 director, representing Dunn, Pepin, Pierce and St. Croix counties. Langworthy and her husband, Caleb, own Blue Ox Farm, a 153-acre grazing farm in Wheeler, where they produce lamb, beef and hay.
Re-elected to another term on the WFU board were District 6 Director Chris Holman of Custer and District 7 Director Tina Hinchley of Cambridge. Other continuing board members include Craig Myhre, Osseo; Rick Adamski, Seymour; Ed Gorell, Eleva; Mark Liebaert, South Range; and Linda Ceylor, Catawba.
Wood-Portage-Waupaca Farmers Union member Patty Edelburg of Amherst and Amnicon-Douglas Farmers Union member Lisa Soyring of Maple were elected as the delegates who will represent WFU at the National Farmers Union Convention March 4-6 in Kansas City.
Next year’s WFU state convention will be Jan. 25-27 at Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.