While the Minnesota Gophers may have struggled against Kent State, Minnesota farmers leaders were in fine form at the 2015 Celebrate Ag and Food Day at the University of Minnesota.
Directors from both the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) worked a booth before the Gophers took on the Golden Flashes Sept. 19 at TCF Bank Stadium.
Among the topics discussed: uses for soybeans, biodiesel, food safety, the soybean checkoff and general appreciation for farmers.
“It was a really good thing for the ag groups to get together and show solidarity among the ag community,” said MSR&PC Chairman Keith Schrader. “There was really good interaction between consumers who came to the booth.”
Also joining Schrader was MSGA President Paul Freeman, MSGA Secretary Mike Skaug, MSGA Directors Lance Peterson and Mike O’Leary, MSR&PC Chairman Keith Schrader and MSR&PC Directors Pat O’Leary and Paul Simonsen.
At the booth, directors handed out 1,500 synch bags with a list of products made from soybeans printed on the bag. Directors also handed out lip balm and sunscreen, both of which are made from soybean oil.
“When I was sitting in the bleachers, one guy was reading the Minnesoyta book we included in the bags,” Pat O’Leary said. “I thought, ‘Hey that’s pretty cool.’ We do these types of promotional events all the time and you never know if someone is reading the material.”
He also said people seemed genuinely interested in uses for soybeans.
“I think people were really interested in that,” he said. “We brought soybeans and some of the uses we have for them to the forefront and people were interested in learning about something they don’t see every day.”
Alongside having a booth, MSR&PC ran trivia questions and positive soybean farming messages throughout the game at the stadium, had radio advertising, and contributed to an Ag and Food Day 2015 video board message.
MSR&PC, through the checkoff, invested in the U of M’s Celebrate Ag and Food Day 2015.
President Kaler meets with Ag leaders
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with several deans, met with ag industry partners and commodity groups before the game, as well. Among the topics of discussion was the increased enrollment in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (CFANS) at the university.
“President Kaler and the deans really credited the ag leaders in attendance for working together,” said Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka.
Slunecka said a lot of the topics discussed involved how to continue to grow the future for agriculture.