Workshop Encourages Local Leadership

Elected officials serve as the voice of the people. But the process of running for office can seem daunting, deterring good candidates from stepping into leadership.

So the Wisconsin Farmers Union is hosting a virtual workshop on Dec. 7 to demystify the process and encourage folks who care about family farms and local economies to consider candidacy in local races this spring.

“Change begins at the local level, and ordinary people can make a difference,” says WFU Executive Director Julie Keown-Bomar. “The process of running for local office can seem intimidating, but we have wonderful members throughout the state who are making a positive impact on Wisconsin through civic engagement.”

Local townships, city councils, and school and county boards are struggling to fill seats and are especially lacking voices that can reason together and develop good policy, she adds.

“Our communities need elected officials with Farmers Union values more than ever before,” Keown-Bomar says.

The event will feature Ben Stepanek from Wisconsin Progress and a panel of Farmers Union members including Ken Schmitt, Colfax, Chippewa County Board; Kriss Marion, Blanchardville, Lafayette County Board; and Jen Schmitz, Cashton, Monroe County Board. Hear stories and receive feedback from these inspiring farmers who have successfully run for office.

The training will offer a crash course in campaign planning for local candidates, including the basics of getting ready to run, connecting with voters and fundraising.

This virtual event will run from 7-8:30 p.m. and is free for WFU members or $30 for nonmembers — the fee includes a one-year membership to the organization. RSVP: