The North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) State Convention held on December 11-12 in Bismarck had two local youths, Jakob Iverson and Brenna Dease, being honored.
Posted on 12/26/15
By Melissa Anderson
Jakob Iverson of Langdon is the 16-year-old son of Jon and Carissa Iverson and is a junior this year at Langdon Area High School (LAHS). Iverson gave a speech at the convention after being voted to the State Youth Advisory Council (SYAC) by his peers at this past summer’s camp.
“Giving the speech at state convention made me a little nervous,” Iverson said, “but overall, I felt good to know that all those people knew what Farmers Union meant to me.”
Each year at North Dakota Farmers Union summer camps, youth vote for representatives to serve on the SYAC. Each council member serves as a liaison for the NDFU youth program and helps define issues that impact youth.
The council meets three times during the year and attends two senior camps the following summer at no cost. For Iverson, being voted on to the SYAC and holding this position means a lot to him as he is able to represent the youth in Farmers Union around the area.
His role in SYAC also means that he will have a significant impact on the next year’s campers.
“My job is to come up with theme nights at camp, design camp T-shirts, and plan activities at camp,” Iverson said.
Overall, the honor of being selected from among his peers to be their representative is not lost on Iverson and what he will gain from the experience.
“I will gain new friends and have a great time at camp,” Iverson said.
Brenna Dease of Munich is the 17-year-old daughter of Mark and Laura Dease and is currently a senior at LAHS.
To receive the Torchbearer’s award, Dease had to attend five years of senior day classes and attend one year of senior camp. “Personally, though, I have attended more camps than that including day classes every year since I’ve been in third grade and four years of junior camp,” Dease said.
The Torchbearer’s Award is like a graduation from the Farmers Union Youth Program and the highest honor that senior youth may achieve in Farmers Union.
“Receiving the Torchbearer Award is something I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a little girl as I watched youth cross the stage every year to receive their award at the Annual North Dakota Farmers Union conventions,” Dease stated.
Farmers Union has given Dease many opportunities to meet new people from all over the state.
“Many of my friends and family wonder how I have friends in so many towns across the state,” Dease said, “going to camp has given me many lasting friendships and taught me cooperative focused leadership, along with an education on different themes that are presented each year.”
Dease was also given the opportunity to lobby in Washington, D.C. alongside many National Farmers Union members, which has been one of the best experiences of her life.
“It opened my eyes to how much work goes into passing bills and gave me the opportunity to meet many of our country’s congressman/women and representatives,” Dease said.
Farmers Union has awarded Dease trips throughout her Farmers Union youth, creating additional fun and educational experiences she has had through the organization.
“I encourage everyone to get involved in their county Farmers Union youth program and to take every active opportunity available,” Dease said.
Congratulations to Iverson and Dease on their respective accomplishments with the NDFU.