The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association has 43 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.
Kittson County Soybean Growers Association donated $250 to the Cornerstone Food Pantry in Hallock for the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign. This is the only statewide effort where every dollar donated goes directly to food shelves to purchase food for the hungry.
“As farmers, we are always concerned about families having healthy food for their tables” said Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Secretary and Kittson County board member Theresia Gillie.
Pictured above from left to right: Heather Peterson, Jodi Johnson, both volunteers of the Cornerstone Food Pantry, accept a check from MSGA Secretary and Kittson County Board Treasurer Theresia Gillie along with Chuck Dziengel, President of Kittson County Soybean Growers.
Otter Tail and Grant
Soybean and corn farmers in Otter Tail and Grant counties had the opportunity to gain insight on machinery price forecasts while at this year’s Otter Tail and Grant County Soybean and Corn Growers annual meeting. After updates on county initiatives, the value of membership and state updates from Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Machinery Pete took the floor.
Greg Peterson, aka “Machinery Pete”, was a hit at the meeting as he highlighted equipment with generational stories attached and discussed the seasonality of equipment values.
“He emphasized the need to personalize your equipment with videos, pictures and history of the piece if you are selling your equipment,” County Chairman Brian Kjesbo said. “Also, he discussed the general trend of 15 to 20 percent lower values in the last year on three to six-year-old equipment.”
Farmers also were reassured that used equipment that is well cared for and older is holding its value better.
The meeting, held at the Fergus Falls VFW, was a hit with local farmers as there were about 60 in attendance.
Spring Educational Event
The Spring Educational Event for farmers in Chippewa County was underway Tuesday, April 24, complete with a used machinery cost update and the basics of how to handle farm transition.
Despite rescheduling due to a snowstorm earlier this month, there were still about 25 farmers in attendance and prepared with numerous questions.
“Our board’s goal was to bring in expert speakers to discuss topics relevant to our members,” said Kirby Hettver, Chippewa County Corn and Soybean Growers Association Secretary/Treasurer. “Based on discussion, everyone in attendance learned from our presenters!”
During the morning session, Greg Peterson, aka Machinery Pete, covered the basics of the machinery market, what is affecting current and near future prices and how to get more value for your own used equipment.
“Many times he singled out the importance of sharing your story,” Hettver said. “It’s important to machinery sales, however, it’s an overall theme we can all expand on in terms of communicating the good work done throughout farms in Minnesota. Share your conservation story with neighbors and friends removed from agriculture.”
After social time and lunch, Dan Hoffman, owner of New Vision Consulting, spoke to the group about transitioning a farm business and estate planning. He addressed key questions families should address while considering transition planning.
More than 140 people showed up to the Nicollet/Sibley County Corn and Soybean Growers Association meeting March 12, which featured a pair of guest speakers in U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn. and Rep. Glen Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe.
“It is important to understand what is slowing down famers and what can be done to make their job more efficient,” Peterson said. “Farming is a bumpy ride and we need to try and eliminate some of those bumps.”
Gruenhagen also spoke on transportation issues and the light rail expansion within Minnesota.
The night ended with Nelva Lilienthal and Kathleen Thies, Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) Class VII members, speaking on their experience within the leadership program and the trip they took to Ecuador last year.
International Crop Expo
The 2015 International Crop Expo was a huge success again in 2015 with over 5000 people in attendance. Educational seminars developed and presented by NDSU Extension and Minnesota Extension Services were held during the two-day event.
First-day Keynote speaker Jolene Brown spoke about “Blazing New Trails for New Agriculture.” The second day consisted of a panel to discuss the “2014 Farm Bill and How to Make it Work for you.”
A special thank you to Cecil Deschene, Elliott Solheim, Greg LeBlanc, Kevin Amiot, Mike Skaug, Chuck Dziengel and Jim & Marilyn Kukowski for helping out in the MN Soybean booth. We appreciate all that you do for MN Soybean! To see highlights of the show or to view presentations go to: www.cropexpo.com
The Dodge County Corn and Soybean Growers Association held its annual banquet March 19, but before getting down to business, the group invited attendees to tour McNeilus Steel Inc. in Dodge Center, Minn.
Over 55 people attended the steel tour, learning about the process of steel making and its distribution nationwide.
The tour was followed by Mary Moenning, a local FFA member, giving a speech to roughly 70 attendees on the future of agriculture and her excitement to be a part of it.
Innovus Agra’s Bret Oelke was the guest speaker of the day, giving producers tips and recommendations for the year ahead. Oelke told the audience that looking at current and predicted future prices, it is necessary to evaluate current cost of production and set goals based on that.
“You cannot farm like we still have the prices we did five years ago,” Oelke said.
Oelke also encouraged farmers to use futures and options, decreasing potential risk with poor yields or quick changes in the market.