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North Dakota Farmers Union state convention set for Nov. 18-19

North Dakota Farmers Union members are invited to attend the 85th state convention Nov. 18-19 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck.

The convention will offer delegates and members the opportunity to debate issues confronting family farmers and be active participants in determining policy for the organization. Registration for the convention opens 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The annual meeting of Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Co. will begin that morning, followed by North Dakota Farmers Union's official meeting.

During the policy and action session, Farmers Union members will be invited to introduce, debate and then adopt policy positions. Other highlights include the annual Torchbearer banquet set for Saturday evening that recognizes youth who have completed class work and attended summer camps. Carlson will also give his final remarks at this year's convention, stepping down from his post after nearly 15 years. A new president will be elected.

Special entertainment from Jason Huneke will be featured on Saturday evening. Huneke is one of the most entertaining performers in America as a professional comedian and juggler. Free daycare will be provided during the convention. Special activities will be arranged for different age groups including bowling, a movie and swimming.

Keynote speakers will include two economists to talk about the future of agriculture. Dan White is an economist at Moody's Analytics, responsible for covering state and local government fiscal issues as well as the economies of Nevada and North Dakota. Before joining Moody's Analytics Dan worked as a financial economist for the New Mexico State Legislative Finance Committee in Santa Fe, where he forecast revenues and analyzed a wide range of policy issues concentrated around economic development, public investment, and debt management. Dan holds an M.A. in economics as well as undergraduate degrees in finance and international business from New Mexico State University.

Joe Mahon, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will address the crowd on Saturday, Nov. 19. Mahon is an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, a role he has held since 2010. Prior to that, he was a staff writer and analyst for Fed publications--the Region and Fedgazette. Mahon's primary responsibilities involve tracking several sectors of the Ninth District economy--an area that covers Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana and portions of Wisconsin and Michigan--for the Fed. Sectors he follows include agriculture, manufacturing, energy and mining. He also performs special analyses at the request of the bank's senior management and the board of directors. He holds degrees in economics and journalism from the University of Minnesota, and is a part-time graduate student in the University's applied economics and statistics departments.