In a normal (non-COVID) year, we would be talking about “meeting” season. The staff, board and I would be looking forward with excitement to seeing members at state convention. But not this year. This virus has disrupted our lives more than most of us ever imagined was possible and we still have not found the solution, at least not the total solution. As farmers and ranchers, we understand when nature challenges us and we make do with what is necessary to move forward.

NDFU will move forward and carry out the wishes of our members. This means we are holding our state convention virtually, using technology that allows for as much participation as possible.

We have asked counties and locals to elect the minimum number of delegates required to carry their membership vote. We will be encouraging all delegates to participate in the virtual meeting. We plan to have staff contact each of the delegates and work to ensure they understand how to participate in the meeting. We will have tools for you to communicate with leaders and other delegates participating in the virtual meeting. It will come with limitations as we could have nearly 300 people participating in the call.

The convention is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. The vast majority of the convention will be spent conducting the necessary business of the organization. We are required to present financial reports, elect leadership and delegates to the NFU convention, adopt policy, and consider any potential bylaw changes.

At the opening of the convention, we will explain how you can participate, how you will be able to vote in contested elections, and the process of policy development. We will have recorded videos from elected officials, giving us the latest update on current issues. The insurance company management report and financial update will be presented. I will conduct a question-and-answer session to give you the latest information on our organization’s activities and current efforts.

All of our convention committees have been informed and are meeting virtually to prepare for this new meeting style.

I hope all of you, as members, can understand that this style of meeting is only for this year. I am optimistic we will start controlling this virus after the first of the year.

Bear with us as we prepare to do our best to provide you with all the opportunities a member of this organization deserves. We will continue to do our work as leaders and staff and look forward to the day when we are meeting in person again.

— NDFU President Mark Watne

NDFU virtual convention

Friday, Dec. 11 • Zoom

10 a.m. • Call to order

• Welcome – NDFU President Mark Watne

• National anthem

• Rules Committee report – President Watne

• Agraria Mutual Group annual meeting

~ Financial/annual report – Mark Anderson, CEO

• President’s Report – President Watne (AIC, NDFU)

11 a.m. • Nominations for President, VP, District Directors & NFU Delegates

11:45 a.m. • Voting opens

• Lunch break

1 p.m. • Meeting reconvenes

• Financial report

• Bylaws Committee preliminary report – President Watne

• P&A consideration & action papers considered

1:30 p.m. • Balloting closes

2:30 p.m. • Final report of Credentials Committee

• Elections Committee results

• Introduction of new board members

2:45 p.m. • Torchbearer presentation

• Bergman Scholarship winners announced

3 p.m. • Member Q&A – President Mark Watne

4 p.m. • Adjourn