During the 121st annual meeting of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) on Jan. 24, 2024, in St. Cloud, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Director Kris Folland was honored with the Premier Seed Grower award.
Folland, who farms in Halma, began his career with MCIA in 2006 as a field supervisor, managing seed certification and seed production for northern Minnesota. Since 2019, he has served as manager of MCIA’s Field Services department. Folland has worked with all facets of MCIA’s processes and procedures, program reviews and development, and standards. His successful efforts to develop new business relationships have been a key to MCIA’s growth. Kris and his wife, Bethany, farm together and are both involved in the Kittson Country 4-H. After serving several terms as MSR&PC’s District 1, 2, & 3 director, Folland, who is also enrolled in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP), is stepping down from his position on the Council when his term ends this summer.
“It is an honor to be recognized by MCIA,” Folland said. “I have been fortunate to work with outstanding people in the seed industry and especially the seed producers of Minnesota.”
MCIA was founded in 1903 to promote the breeding, growing and distribution of improved field crop varieties to crop producers throughout the state. A directory of members was first published in 1906 and the publication of a list of those with inspected and approved seed began in 1912. In 1955, the Minnesota Seed Law was amended to recognize MCIA as the official seed certifying agency of Minnesota.
The association provides a diverse offering of certification and quality assurance services to a wide array of agricultural and food product producers and handlers. Products certified by MCIA include field crop seed, turf seed, sod, native plant seed, noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch, identity-preserved grains for specialty grain markets, as well as numerous organic crops, livestock and food products. MCIA also provides customized quality assurance services such as field inspections, seed and grain facility evaluations, as well as other third-party audit and on-site evaluations. MCIA produces and distributes foundation seed of publicly developed crop varieties and serves as the marketing agent for licensing varieties developed through the University of Minnesota’s breeding program, which the soybean checkoff has supported for more than 40 years.
MCIA and Minnesota Soybean have a longstanding partnership. MCIA directors helped establish the original Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) board. Many Council and MSGA directors have sat on MCIA’s board.
In addition to Folland’s award, MCIA alsp honored Roger Wippler, who recently retired as manager of MCIA’s Foundation Seed Services after 34 years with the organization, with its Achievement in Crop Improvement Awad.