Around the Counties: Annual meetings, local events underway across Minnesota

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association has 45 organized county organizations. Each of these counties has events throughout the year to help promote and educate farmers and non-farmers about soybeans. For an organization to be truly grassroots, it needs the help of many. Organized MSGA counties provide a true boots-on-the-ground approach. The efforts of these counties are truly remarkable. Around the Counties highlights some of the many things our county boards are involved in throughout the year.

Nobles County: The Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association held a high oleic soybean oil promotional event in March, distributing 35-gallon jugs of the cooking oil to 14 restaurants in the area. The event garnered both local and national news. Later in March, the board held their annual meeting with keynote speaker Chip Flory, bringing more than 200 attendees to the American Reformed Church in Worthington, Minn.

Redwood and Renville Counties: Redwood and Renville counties held their joint corn and soybean growers annual meeting on Feb. 20 at Jackpot Junction Casino in Morton, Minn. More than 150 members from both counties attended; comedian/magician/“agsipirational” speaker Lyndy Phillips performed the evening’s entertainment.

Marshall County board of directors.

Marshall County: The Marshall County Soybean and Corn Growers Association supported their county’s schools and promoting the use of soybean and corn products at the same time. The growers donated color books, rulers, pencils, crayons and more to the elementary schools of Stephen-Argyle, Grygla, Newfolden, Viking, Middle River and Warren-Alvarado-Oslo.

Rock County: In February, the Rock County Corn and Soybean Growers Association hosted its 2017 Ag Seminar at the Grand Prairie Even Center in Luverne, Minn. Trent Loos was the keynote speaker. In March, the board also hosted its annual meeting at the Pizza Ranch in Luverne, Minn.

Lyon County: Becky Engels retired from her post as the Lyon County Corn and Soybean Growers Association’s treasury and secretary in March after volunteering for 18 years. She also plans to retire from the board. Engels will be replaced by board members Joe Versaevel (treasurer) and Denny Oeltjenbruns (secretary).

Norman County: The county board supported their county’s schools and promoting the use of soybean and corn products at the same time. The growers have donated color books, rulers, pencils, crayons and more to the elementary schools in Norman County. Materials have been delivered to Norman County West, Norman County East and Ada-Borup.

The Clay-Wilkin Corn and Soybean Growers held an event to discuss farming practices and food with the non-ag community.

Clay and Wilkin Counties: The Clay-Wilkin Corn and Soybean Grower hosted Conversations on Food and Farming: an evening to connect with area consumers and discuss the food and farming practices in our region. There were approximately 60 in attendance. Complimentary appetizers were served along with Chef Chris Olson, Culinary Manager at Concordia College, who created a variety of dishes featuring foods grown in the region.

Otter Tail and Grant Counties: The Otter Tail-Grant County Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual meeting at the Bigwood Event Center in conjunction with the Soybean and Corn seminar Maximizing Corn/Soybean Potential & Weed Science. Keynote speakers were Aaron Hager, associate professor of weed science at the University of Illinois and Ken Ferrie, agronomist & Farm Journal contributor.

Todd County: Todd County recently donated an agricultural book bundle to the library at Long Prairie Grey Eagle Elementary School. They also exhibited at the Todd County Feedlot Meeting and Producer Appreciation Luncheon at Central Lakes College in Staples. Producers were able to learn about integrating livestock into cropping systems, as well as different cover crop options.

Steele County: Steele County hosted Lisa Behnken, a crops educator with the University of Minnesota Extension, to discuss weed resistance issues, chemical application, and weed management at their annual meeting this month.

Chippewa and Kandiyohi Counties: Chippewa and Kandiyohi County hosted a joint growers meeting featuring Ken Ferrie. Ferrie owns Crop Tech Consulting, is a Farm Journal agronomist, and hosts “Corn College TV.” He presented on topics ranging from managing high-yielding soybeans to understanding nitrogen loss.

Dakota and Rice Counties: The Dakota/Rice County Corn and Soybean Growers participated in Hy-Vee’s Meet Your Farmer Days in Faribault in March. In addition to teaching consumers about food products made from both soybeans and corn, they handed out coupons for pork and beef products. They worked with Hy-Vee to help organize the event as part of National Ag Week.

John Kriesel was the featured speaker at the Blue Earth County Corn and Soybean annual meeting.

Blue Earth County: The Blue Earth County Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual meeting in Lake Crystal, Minn. Joe Smentek, director of public affairs for Minnesota Soybean, gave a legislative update on priority issues, such as taxes, buffers, health care and ditch mowing. John Kriesel, former Minnesota legislator and veteran who was severely wounded in Iraqi was the featured speaker for the night.

Goodhue/ North Wabasha County: Goodhue North Wabasha County held their annual live auction to raise funds for scholarships for students pursuing a degree in an agricultural related field during their annual meeting. Many area businesses and individuals donated items and gift certificates for the auction. Madison Schafer, a 2017 Pig Farmer of Tomorrow, spoke as part of their annual meeting on following your passion in agriculture.

Winona County: The Winona County Soybean Growers, along with their local commodity groups held their annual Promoting Modern Ag event in Winona, Minn. This event promotes and celebrates the diversity of agriculture in the county. The night’s featured speaker was Market to Market’s Mike Pearson, who gave a market update to attendees.

Murray County: The Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual meeting at the Breezy Point Barn near Currie, Minn. With over 120 attendees, Murray County focused on agriculture advocacy by bringing in Troy and Stacy Hadrick of South Dakota, who talked about sharing your agriculture story.

Kit Welchlin was the Watonwan County featured speaker during their 2017 annual meeting.

Freeborn County: The board members of the Freeborn County Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual meeting earlier this month. John Kriesel, an Iraqi veteran who was severely wounded in 2006, was the featured speaker for the night. The board also recognized their scholarship winners, along with the Agriculture Future of American (AFA) scholarship recipient.

Watonwan County: Returning to his hometown, nationally-known speaker Kit Welchlin was the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Watonwan County corn and soybean growers on Monday, Jan. 30 in St. James. Welchlin spent his time providing tips and proven methods for managing stress. More than 100 growers attended the meeting.

Lac qui Parle: The Lac qui Parle Corn & Soybean Growers held their annual meeting March 23 in Dawson, Minn. Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center Executive Director Warren Formo was the keynote speaker. Formo spoke about the current state of the buffer law and what it will mean for implementation for farmers.

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