Soy leadership in the Lone Star State

More than 20 farmer delegates from across Minnesota hightailed it to Houston in late February for the annual Commodity Classic. But some weren’t so lucky: A blizzard in Fargo, N.D., kept a handful of farmers grounded for a day. Mike Skaug and Jamie Beyer, both directors with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA), made it to the George R. Brown Conference Center just in time to join the state caucus meeting led by MSGA Vice President Darin Johnson.

During the state caucus meeting, Minnesota joined North Dakota, South Dakota, New York and Wisconsin to discuss and approve policy resolutions on a range of issues, including farm income support programs, biobased products, agriculture research and water quality.

“It was a smooth meeting, very efficient,” MSGA President Bob Worth said. “These caucus meetings ensure we’re on the same page, and it’s also good chance to visit in person with colleagues from other states.”

Following several flight delays that kept them ground in Minnesota, MSGA Directors Mike Skaug (front) and Jamie Beyer (back) waste no time studying policy resolutions during a joint state caucus meeting at Commodity Classic.

The state caucus also featured several speakers from USDA, including Robert Bonnie, the undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. Bonnie spoke about USDA’s efforts to promote biofuels and sustainable aviation fuels, along with conservation projects.

“Everything you see from us in this administration on climate is going to be voluntary, incentive-based,” Bonnie said. “It’s going to be about collaboration, it’s going to be about markets.”

In addition to Wednesday’s caucus gathering, MSGA directors were busy attending assorted meetings, catching up with colleagues, engaging with media and attending the first day of the trade show on Thursday. Redwood County farmer George Goblish, past chair and current member of the Commodity Classic Planning Committee, said the event is once again expected to set attendance records.

On the trade show floor, MSGA leaders also visited with industry supporters Bayer and Corteva. MSGA’s governing board also took the opportunity to meet and discuss partnership opportunities, the policy outlook in St. Paul and ASA’s March Hill Visits in Washington, D.C.

On Friday, MSGA directors will attend ASA’s Awards Banquet to learn if any of MSGA’s received recognition. On Saturday morning, Minnesota’s delegation will participate in ASA’s Delegate Session.

“There’s never much down time at Commodity Classic,” Worth said, “but that’s how we like it.”

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