Watonwan County farmer stands up for MSGA

Rose Wendinger is a third-generation farmer. Wendinger grew up on a 75-head dairy farm in Sibley County, where she learned how to take care of the land, crops and animals from her parents and five older brothers.

“There was a large age gap between me and my oldest brothers,” Wendinger said. “I was able to farm independently and be a part of the operation a little bit differently than they did. I saw how important the lifestyle was while caring for the animals and the land with my dad.”

Her experiences on the farm at an early age fueled her interests toward a lifelong career in agriculture. Currently, she serves as a farm business management educator for South Central Community College. There, she supports over 40 farm families, providing the tools and resources for farmers to succeed in their operations.

In 2021, Wendinger was selected as Minnesota’s representative for the American Soybean Association’s Corteva Young Leader program. Due to COVID, her time spent as a young leader was a stark contrast to those who came before her. Still, her participation in the program was not wasted – the connections she made in Washington and Oregon are maintained to this day.

“We were able to meet in Washington and see a completely different area of agriculture, and meet with producers from across the nation,” Wendinger said. “They all have the same ambition and passion for supporting soybean growth as I do. It’s fun to watch each other gain access to higher leadership opportunities within ASA and our state organizations.”

When she is not helping farm families or building her leadership skills, Wendinger spends her time raising soybeans, corn and highland cattle in St. James. As a soybean farmer, Wendinger wants to ensure her right to operate freely and profitably in Minnesota.

Wendinger joined MSGA in 2016 after being involved on her county board. She saw the opportunity for young, passionate agriculturalists to be active in positions higher than the county level. She’s rising the ranks of the organization and was elected MSGA secretary in 2023.

“I chose to join MSGA for many reasons,” said Wendinger. “I wanted to make sure that our farmers, my family and I were represented on many different levels. I saw a need to stand up and have a voice.”

Her MSGA peers took notice. In 2022, Wendinger was elected to the MSGA governing board. A year later, she was elected as the secretary.

“I’m so proud to be part of an executive team and organization that has the passion and drive to benefit Minnesota farmers through policymaking and advocacy,” said Wendinger.

During her time on the board, Wendinger has had many opportunities to see how putting boots on the ground in front of policymakers can drastically change farmers’ right to operate in Minnesota. Wendinger urges agriculturalists of any age to take a stand to protect Minnesota farmers.

“MSGA has been in Minnesota for over 60 years, serving all generations of family farms,” said Wendinger. “Everyone that’s involved in the farming operation has a voice through membership and is able to contribute to policymaking that will forever continue to benefit soybean growers and biofuels.”

Rose Wendinger believes that Minnesota soybean farmers need a strong voice representing every level of policymaking and advocacy. That’s why she joined MSGA.

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