The National Farmers Union (NFU) presented Merle Anderson, Cheryl Cook, and Kent Peppler with the Meritorious Service Award for their outstanding leadership and service to family agriculture and toFarmers Union over the course of their lifetimes. Merle Anderson’s career is in a strong conjunction with potato growing and processing.
“As advocates for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, it is important to our mission as an organization that we recognize those who work to aid progress in rural America,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Merle, Cheryl and Kent dedicated their careers and lives to bettering life for family farmers, ranchers, and their communities. I am honored to recognize their contributions today with our organization’s highest distinction, the Meritorious Service Award.”
Merle Anderson is chairman emeritus of the board of directors for the American Coalition for Ethanol, a company he founded in 1987. Anderson grew up on his family’s farm in Polk County, Minnesota, where he helped his father grow potatoes before taking over the operation himself. From 1970-71, he was the chairman of the Red River Valley Growers Association, followed by a stint as president of the National Potato Council in 1973. Anderson also served 45 years on the Red River Valley Cooperative Power board, and 25 years with Minnkota Power Cooperative.
Cheryl Cook is chief innovation officer at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). Prior to joining PDA in March 2015, she worked for six years with the Obama administration.
Kent Peppler is a fourth generation farmer from Mead, Colorado. His family has raised sugar beets and sunflowers in the past, and they have fed cattle, sheep and hogs for three generations.
National Farmers Union (NFU) officially convened its 115th Anniversary Convention in San Diego, California. More than 450 Farmers Union members from across the country are gathered for the annual event, which runs through March 8.