All that jazz: Minnesota Soybean comes back to Commodity Classic

The 2022 legislative road map is set for America’s half-million soybean farmers.

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association joined 25 other state affiliates in finalizing policy resolutions Saturday during the American Soybean Association’s Delegate Session. The annual meeting capped a full week of state caucus meetings; walking the trade show floor; visits with industry leaders; media interviews; and engaging with fellow farmer leaders at the much-anticipated return of Commodity Classic in New Orleans. Nearly 8,000 participants attended this year’s Classic, including 1,600 first-time attendees and 148 members of the media.

MSGA delegation comprised 21 directors from both MSGA and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. In total, 161 delegates from across the country participated. ASA debated policy resolutions related to trade, the Farm Bill, water quality, rural broadband, carbon sequestration, aquaculture and more.

“The delegate session capped a great week for our team at Commodity Classic,” MSGA President Mike Skaug said. “While we know other policy priorities may come up during the year, this resolution process helps guide our legislative agenda in the year ahead.”

Farmer leaders also spent the week meeting with current and future industry partners; participating in learning sessions; and supporting ASA’s cause during the SoyPAC auction. Earlier in the week, farmer leaders toured several Louisiana export facilities. Nearly 61% of all U.S. soybean exports depart from facilities in the New Orleans area.

During Friday’s General Session, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced additional fertilizer production for American farmers to address rising costs. USDA will make available $250 million through a new grant program this summer to support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. Additionally, to address growing competition concerns in the agricultural supply chain, USDA is launching public inquiry seeking information regarding seeds and agricultural inputs, fertilizer and retail markets.

“We want the ag industry and farmers to know we get it. We know that you’re challenged with high fertilizer costs. There are things we can do, and things we can’t do,” Vilsack told Classic attendees. “We have control over research, our products, conservation options and resources for additional capacity.”

On Friday night, MSGA Vice President Bob Worth was named ASA’s Outstanding State Volunteer for his contributions at the county, state and national levels.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience. It is produced by soybean, corn, wheat and sorghum farmers. ASA Director George Goblish sits on Commodity Classic’s Planning Committee.

The conference also allowed MSGA and MSR&PC to connect and discuss how the two organizations can continue to benefit each other. MSR&PC Chair Joe Serbus said he enjoyed the camaraderie among the farmers.

“Our two organizations work hand in glove, but many of us haven’t visited together all that much, so it was very gratifying on a personal level to get to better know my fellow farmers,” Serbus said. “We’re all working on the same Minnesota Soybean team, and this week was a great opportunity for us to continue ensuring we’re on the right track.”

MSGA leaders will reconvene March 22 for Hill Visits in St. Paul. Minnesota currently supports seven farmers on the ASA board, the most in MSGA’s 60-year history.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team we have at MSGA and MSR&PC,” Skaug said. “It’s truly an honor to serve alongside this group. It was just a wonderful experience: We not only took care of business, but we also had opportunities to share a few laughs and learn more about each other.”

The full list of Minnesota delegates included:

  • Mike Skaug
  • Bob Worth
  • Darin Johnson
  • Ryan Mackenthun
  • George Goblish
  • Jamie Beyer
  • Adam Guetter
  • Chris Hill
  • Trevore Brekken
  • Jim Kukowski
  • Joel Schreurs
  • Lawrence Sukalski
  • Jeff Sorenson
  • Kelli Sorenson
  • Paul Freeman
  • Tom Frisch
  • Jim Kukowski
  • Bob Lindeman
  • Rose Wendinger
  • Nathan Legatt.

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