Over the weekend I received a letter from Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. Peterson was announcing his intention to retire at the end of 2016. "It has been a hard decision knowing my deep respect and love for the organization and its members. I have had the honor and privilege to lead the best farm organization in Minnesota and together we have made a difference advocating for family farms," he said in the email.

Peterson has served as the second-longest Minnesota Farmers Union president in its 75-year history. Peterson spent his professional career in public policy as an elected official and president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. As the process of electing a new president moves forward, I am sure Peterson will assist with the transition so that the Minnesota Farmers Union will always have strong leadership. Over the years, I have really enjoyed working with Peterson. If there was a state or national issue I wanted to know about, Peterson was always ready for an interview. Plus, if he could not answer his cell phone he always called back!