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26-year-old Christensen elected to NFO board

By Carol Stender
cstender@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 08/30/2013 1:04 PM

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GREENWALD, Minn. — The torch was passed from one generation to the next, at the Minnesota NFO Convention Saturday in Greenwald.

Leander Wagner, a 53-year NFO member, nominated 26-year-old Reed Christensen as his replacement as one of the state organization's national directors.

Wagner held the position for several years, but told the convention delegates that the time had arrived for him to step down.

As he nominated Christensen, Wagner, from Elko, talked about his own NFO career. He was just a year older than Christensen when he and several other young men joined the organization.

"I think back and I look at how I was brought along," he said. "Those of us who have been around for a long time started farming as young men. You watched your peers. You watched what they were doing."

Mark Rohr, serving as the Minnesota NFO's other national delegate, seconded the nomination.

"Reed has an excellent background in the NFO," he said. "He has enthusiasm and good ideas and these are things we need in the NFO," Rohr said.

Christensen's great uncle, Jack, ran NFO's Elizabeth collection point. His brother runs it now. Grandpa Bill was state NFO president and his father, Ron, was on the National NFO board a few years ago.

"NFO has been deep in our family,'' Christensen said. "I will say, though, that there is probably a lot of things that, when I get to my first board meeting, I will know what I didn't know... I hope to serve well as a national director for the state of Minnesota."

Christensen was greeted by other members who lined up to congratulate him.

"As the board of directors gets older, I felt that someone needs to step forward just to get young people involved more in the organization," Christensen said. "Obviously the NFO has been strong in my background...I think the NFO is a great tool to success in farming. A lot of times there aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with the markets and to farm, so if you have someone you trust to go to bat for you through the NFO's collective bargaining, it frees up your time."

Christensen farms with his father near Battle Lake. He owns 80 of the farm's 450 cow/calf pairs. They also grow organic buckwheat and raise hay, silage and oats for the cattle.

His nomination wasn't a big surprise for many. Wagner asked him to consider the post.

"He told me it was time to pass the torch," he said. "He asked if I would like to do it. I thought about it and then talked to Mark Rohr and said I would be willing to do it. I am sure I will learn a lot."

Minnesota NFO president Joe Neaton was pleased with the selection.

"It's important to get young people involved," he said. "Many organizations have problems getting new members. It's important to get young people involved so they can feel a part of the organization."