MN Ag Expo 2017 covered all corners

MANKATO—MN Ag Expo moved to a new venue in 2017 but featured the same eclectic offerings for the Minnesota agricultural community.

“I think the event has gone really well in the new facility,” MSGA President Theresia Gillie said of the newly-opened Verizon Event Center. “Ag Expo just keeps getting bigger and better every year, and we’re so proud to host this event with Minnesota Corn. It’s a really fruitful partnership.”

The festivities began Tuesday evening with MSGA’s “Members Only” dinner, followed by a reception at the Mankato Brewery.

Dan Dvorak, a Minnesota Department of Agriculture chemical investigator, began Wednesday’s speaking session with a presentation on drift management. David Kee, Minnesota Soybean’s director of research, led a Q&A discussion after Dvorak’s speech.

“The label is the law,” Dvorak told the audience. “What’s important is to keep it on your side of the fence.”

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson addressed a packed crowd in the Event Center during Wednesday’s lunch. Frederickson unveiled the department’s goals for 2017, and said more than 175,000 acres of land in Minnesota are involved in the state’s Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program.

“Our hope is to eventually have 500,000 acres involved in the program,” Frederickson said.

Minnesota Soybean hosted its annual Beano & Vino Casino and Silent Auction Wednesday night at the City Center Hotel. Approximately $20,000 were raised for MSGA and the organization’s political action committee; Gillie, MSR&PC Chairman Keith Schrader and Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka all took one for the team by volunteering to have pies shoved in their faces.

“Beano Vino was a blast, even though I got a pie in the face,” Gillie said, laughing. “It was all for a good cause though.”

MSGA held its delegate session and annual meeting Thursday morning. The morning and afternoon sessions boasted a bevy of eclectic speakers–including markets expert Darin Newsom, lawyer Lisa Pluto, Dr. Joe Bischoff and business consultant Jolene Brown, respectively.

“We had an amazing roster of speakers this year,” Gillie said. “There was a little something for everyone, and we’re looking forward to an even bigger and better Ag Expo in 2018.”

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