NFU members to decide between two vice-presidential candidates

Two people are vying for National Farmers Union Vice President at the group’s national convention this year in Denver. South Dakota farmer Jeff Kippley is challenging incumbent Patty Edelburg.

In addition to farming, Kippley has a tax preparation business. He tells Brownfield he’d like to see farming pay well enough to support families.

“That’s kind of my motivation [for running] is that my kids maybe can come back to the farm and be able to make a living just doing the farming and not having to have two full-time jobs,” Kippley told Brownfield Ag News.

Edleburg, a Wisconsin dairy farmer running for her third term, agrees that price issues are front of mind for NFU members. She tells Brownfield Ag News she’s proud to represent what she considers the best and most diverse group of farmers.

“We have 200,000 family farm members,” said Edelburg, during an interview with Brownfield, “and every time you walk down the halls of Congress, you have 200,000 family farmers that have your back, no matter what the issue is.”

Edelburg’s goal if re-elected is to develop greater clout for the National Farmers Union by recruiting more members. “We need to continue to grow, and we need to continue to find ways to implement new ideas, and get new members, get new growth, get our states more active and more engaged,” she said. “That’s what I really want to do for this organization.”

Meanwhile, Kippley, who raises cattle, corn, and soybeans, agrees that the NFU needs to hold more sway among lawmakers. Among policies he wants to see implemented is to increase ethanol blends to 30 percent. “If we can get those higher blends of ethanol used across the country, we’re helping the farmers, we’re getting rid of some of the bad additives that are in gasoline,” said Kippley. “And everybody benefits from that.”

The National Farmers Union’s 120th Anniversary Convention opens in Denver on February 27th.

AUDIO: Patty Edelburg

AUDIO: Jeff Kippley

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