The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) has 45 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 unique events our county boards are involved in throughout the year.
The Kandiyohi County Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual meeting on Jan. 28 in Willmar. About 100 attendees heard from guest speaker Zach Johnson, aka “MN Millennial Farmer,” on YouTube, who presented about the importance of telling our agriculture stories.
The Swift County Corn and Soybean Growers donated $500 worth of hams to the Prairie 5 Community Action food shelf in Benson prior to Christmas. They held their annual meeting on Feb. 4 at the VFW in Benson, with Chad Friese from the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company presenting an update about the ethanol industry.
The Clay/Wilkin Corn and Soybean Growers held their annual meeting in conjunction with the Small Grains Update meeting in Dilworth on Jan. 15. Attendees heard from a variety of agricultural speakers including Dr. Jim Anderson, spring wheat breeder from the University of Minnesota; David Kee, Minnesota Soybean director of research; Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director; Allison Thompson of The Money Farm; and Lauren Proulx and Melissa Geiszler of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council.
The Douglas County Corn and Soybean Growers held a membership calling night on Jan. 14 in Brandon. Board members called prospective and lapsed Minnesota Soybean Growers Association members to discuss MSGA priorities and accomplishments, and recruit these farmers to invest in an MSGA membership.
Lac qui Parle
The Lac qui Parle Corn and Soybean Growers held a membership calling night on February 4 in Madison. Board members called prospective and lapsed Minnesota Soybean Growers Association members to discuss MSGA priorities and accomplishments, and recruit these farmers to renew or register as a member of MSGA.
The county board held its annual meeting in January in conjunction with the Small Grains Update meeting. Their keynote speaker was Dr. Val Farmer: Rural Mental Health & Family Relationships. Kittson County helps promote soybeans through their libraries, schools, arenas and many more organizations.
The 2018 soybean plot data will be charting growing degree days, rainfall, soil moisture, soil temp sensors. The board plans to publish a brochure and send in as a newspaper article of the findings. The board has also purchased a data logger shuttle and continues to promote soybeans through donations to the Marshall County Fire Departments and schools. They are also in the process of creating a county web page.
Polk County is continuing to place radio ads on both ends of the county and is continuing its support for FFA and educational books for all county school libraries. They are supporting and helping to promote the new soybean crush plant in Crookston. They are in the process of creating a county web page. Their annual meeting was also held in conjunction with the Small Grains Update meeting.
Pennington – Red Lake
They continue advertising soybean and corn through delivering popcorn bags and napkins at the schools, arenas, etc. The items have the uses of soybeans and corn listed on them. The board also is promoting soybeans and corn with arena signage in Thief River Falls and Red Lake Falls. The annual meeting was also held in conjunction with the Small Grains Update meeting.
The county board has been advertising their meetings on KRJB in hopes of bringing county recognition to their soybean and corn growers, as well as inviting the public into their county meetings. They have also been continuing to support FFA through donations. The annual meeting was held in conjunction with the Small Grains Update meeting.
Roseau – Lake of the Woods
The board held its annual meeting Jan. 31 in conjunction with Private Pesticide Applicators Training. Dr. Phil Glogoza and Dr. Jochum Wiersma spoke, and Dr. Glogoza was honored by the board as he retires from the University of Minnesota. They continue to promote soybeans though billboards and radio. The board was also proud to have 12 sponsors support their annual meeting.
Attended the SMSU Ag Bowl FFA Scholarship Invitation with Murray County to promote corn and soybeans, along with farm safety.
Held their annual meeting on Feb. 9. Part of their annual meeting is a live auction to raise money for scholarships to support youth in the county. They awarded 24 scholarships and raised nearly $21,000 during their live auction for next year’s scholarships.
The board hosted Dr. Satish Gupta for his keynote presentation, “How Climate & Landcover Changes Impact Nitrogen Loads of the MN River” at the Sleepy Eye Event Center. They invited area counties and local schools to attend. A local science class, county commissioners and area farmers were all in attendance. This was in coordination with their annual meeting in November.
Returning to his hometown once again, and back by popular demand, nationally-known speaker and St. James native Kit Welchlin was the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Watonwan County corn and soybean growers on Jan. 14. Welchlin’s presentation focused on methods for managing stress for farmers and agribusiness. More than 100 growers attended the meeting.
Both counties hosted their joint annual meeting on Feb. 11 at Jackpot Junction Casino. Nearly 140 farmers from both counties attended and the evening was capped by a set from comedian Leslie Norris Townsend.
Yellow Medicine County
Hosted their first annual meeting in several years. Jointly with the Yellow Medicine Corn Growers and the local F & M Bank, they hosted Ed Usset to give his award-winning, “Winning the Game,” presentation.
The Nicollet/Sibley County Corn and Soybean Growers once again held their annual food drive this last December. They met at the New Ulm HyVee and filled nearly 10 carts full of food with soybeans in its ingredients. They will have another drive this coming June.
The board also held their Plot Data Day, an event for the county to display what their yearly plot data was. They also invite researchers and industry influencers to present on different hot topics around plant genetics and plant health.
A Chinese trade team visited Lawrence Sukalski’s farm. This trade team was very passionate about getting information about the soybean plans not only in Minnesota but in the Midwest. They were able to take samples from three different fields and predicted the yield for the coming fall. After harvest, Lawrence was able to communicate that their numbers were close but not exact. The unpredictable weather in Martin county most likely contributed to this. Farmers and industry individuals from the Martin County area gathered at the Sukalski’s farm. They were able to have many conversations both in the field, as well as on the farm site about how they produce and process the beans.
Bob Lindeman hosted a trade team from Cambodia and Nigeria. This trade team was looking for the real Minnesota farming experience, and the delegation got what they bargained for. They were able to get a walk-through of the top-to-bottom farming experience from seed treatment, riding in a combine to understanding the drying and hauling process. They left with their eyes wide open. The board also held its annual meeting in January.