Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden announced today that Tom Quinn, has been hired to fill the position of executive director for the organization. Quinn has a long history of work on farm and rural issues, including serving on the Board of the Wisconsin Farmers Union Foundation. He is currently Director of Economic Asset Programs at West CAP, a regional community development program serving seven counties in west central Wisconsin.
"Tom will bring valuable experience in organizational development and management to this position," Von Ruden said, "along with a proven passion for farm and rural life issues. We are excited to have someone like Tom, with a history of commitment to Farmers Union, to help grow our organization and continue to provide excellent service to our members on a day-to-day basis."
As executive director, Quinn will be managing the overall operations of the WFU State Office, located in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and will help to develop new initiatives in cooperative development and membership services. As President, Von Ruden will continue serving as the primary spokesperson and direct leadership for the organization.
WFU is a general farm organization that provides educational opportunities and legislative services to its members. The organization has nearly 1,500 member families across the state, including family farmers, rural residents and consumers.
"It is a great honor to have an opportunity to work for an organization that I respect and appreciate as much as Farmers Union. Having a prosperous rural America that is based on sound use of our natural resources is more important than ever, and Farmers Union's sense of mission and policy in support of family agriculture and small towns is exactly what is needed. I am especially excited about emerging opportunities to grow our membership and to foster cooperative development strategies in renewable energy and local food systems," Quinn said.
Quinn, a former dairy farmer, first joined Farmers Union as a member over 30 years ago. His family was one of three young Wisconsin farm couples chosen to participate in the American Farm Project, an effort by National Farmers Union to connect young farmers from around the country in shared learning about the history of farm policy and rural culture. Quinn carried those experiences into his work as executive director of the National League of Rural Voters and the Wisconsin Farmland Conservancy. His recent work at West CAP has included business development support for numerous rural cooperatives.
In addition, Quinn serves on the Dunn County Board of Supervisors and the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation. He is also a board member of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund and the River Country Resource, Conservation and Development Council.
Quinn will begin his position with Wisconsin Farmers Union in July, and can be reached at [email protected].