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President’s Podium – Let’s Explore RMFU

July 7, 2023

“As hard as it is to believe, 2023 is halfway behind us. If you follow RMFU on social media, you have seen that our staff has been busy working for you and your organization. A group of 7 staff members participated in the NFU State to State meetings.  This event was a chance for the various state Farmers Union organization staff to mingle, network, learn from what other states are doing and get some good information from speakers.  The same week that staff members from different state organizations got together, the Presidents from all the state chapters of Farmers Union gathered for the quarterly NFU Board meeting.

Much like how the board members you elect to the RMFU Board also become members of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Foundation and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Service Association boards, as RMFU President, I become a board member on the National Farmers Union, National Farmers Union Foundation, National Farmers Union Service Associate, and Midwest Agency boards. The purpose of the boards at the national and state levels are similar.  The RMFU and NFU boards oversee the farm organizations. Generally, these are the Farmers Union organizations that most people think of, with lobbying, communications, and membership activities.  When your membership dues are paid to RMFU, and $11 goes to pay your NFU dues.

The RMFU Foundation and NFU Foundation are 501c3 nonprofits.  These organizations can receive grants and donations from multiple sources. The NFU Foundation includes the education programs such as All States Camp, the Beginning Farmer Institute, and Advocacy Training.  The RMFU Foundation provides education programs such as our Summer Youth Camp, Fellows, some day camps,  our Cooperative Development Center, and the Hudson Ranch.

The RMFU Service Association and NFU Service Association are the revenue-generating organizations of the RMFU Family. RMFU Service Association is primarily the insurance agency, with over 80 agents. Many of these agents are valued, multi-generational members of our small communities, some with the fourth generation working in their offices! With the ability to write policies with over 60 different carriers, our agents do a great job of working to tailor coverage to members’ needs.  When you use one of our agents, the sales of these policies play a huge part in supporting the work that RMFU does for its members and communities, so please reach out to one of our agents when it’s time to renew or change coverage. In addition to our insurance sales in our three states, RMFU Service Association also holds a minority interest in Midwest Agency, an insurance agency serving Kansas and Nebraska, and numerous other smaller investments.

I have been thankful for the leadership and guidance of our Vice President Dale McCall, CEO Ben Rainbolt, CFO Shelley Westphal, COO Kyle Bradley, and all our board members and staff as I have learned and transitioned into my new role. With that being said, in less than five months, we will come together for an open election for RMFU Vice President, as well as two other board elections. The deadline to submit an intent to run is September 18. The decision to run for a position on the board of such a multi-layered, complex, and vitally important organization is one that should be taken seriously. I welcome members interested in reaching out to me and learning more if they are interested in running for Vice President.”

-Chad Franke, RMFU President

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