Democratic, GOP leaders to speak during MSGA’s annual meeting

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association will host state political and agriculture leaders during its 2021 Annual Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21. The annual meeting, along with MN AG EXPO, will be held virtually due to ongoing gathering restrictions.

Gov. Tim Walz will address Minnesota soybean farmers during the Delegate Session. During the Business Meeting, which begins at 9 a.m., House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, respectively, will individually address MSGA members to discuss the legislative and agriculture outlooks for 2021. Each official will speak for about 15 minutes.

“Despite the fact we can’t meet in person, we’ve very eager to engage with a bipartisan group of elected officials during our annual meeting,” MSGA President Jamie Beyer said. “As a nonpartisan organization, we welcome conversations with all sides, and we look forward to having a dialogue with our political leaders on how they can promote policies that will uplift farmers and rural Minnesota.”

Delegates must register for the Delegate Session, but registration isn’t required for the annual meeting, which is open to all MSGA members. A Zoom link will be posted on mnagexpo.com in the days leading up to the annual meeting. The meeting will also be livestreamed on MSGA’s Facebook page.

MSGA tapped Iraq War veteran and former state legislator John Kriesel to serve as keynote speaker. Kriesel lost his legs in Iraq, but he returned to Minnesota with a powerful message of hope and is a living testimony that a positive attitude can help overcome any challenge.

“As a board, we all agreed that after a year like 2020, John’s story is one that our growers will draw inspiration from,” Beyer said. “He’s spoken at several county board annual meetings, and we’ve heard nothing but positive reviews.”

Due to continued changes in COVID-19 restrictions, MN AG EXPO is not having a virtual trade show this year, but will be debuting checkoff-funded research videos on its website. The multi-day conference will return to Mankato’s Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in 2022. Farmers and agribusinesses are encouraged to put Jan. 19-20, 2022 on their calendar to be back in-person for MN AG EXPO.

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