A P R I L 2 0 1 7 28 POTATO GROWER People, Product News Merle Anderson Awarded National Farmers Union's Highest Honor The strength, diversity and success of modern family farm agriculture is the result of hardworking men and women across the industry, and three individuals have gone above and beyond to ensure that success and the well-being of family farm- ers, ranchers and rural communi- ties. National Farmers Union (NFU) pre- sented Merle Anderson, Cheryl Cook, and Kent Peppler with the Meritorious Service Award for their outstanding leadership and service to family agriculture and to Farmers Union over the course of their life- times. Ninety-five year-old Merle Anderson from Climax, Minnesota 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. In 2014 he became the oldest Grand Marshal ever of the Potato Bowl USA Parade.