Council’s augmented reality reaches northern Minnesota

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council’s (MSR&PC) two augmented reality farmers, Paul and Sandy, made their northern debut at Big Iron in Fargo, N.D.

Paul and Sandy shared ways the “miracle bean” brings added value to soybean farmers around Minnesota, thanks to investments from the soybean checkoff. Beyond promoting checkoff projects, membership in the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association was also prevalent in the booth at the 43rd annual show.

And for those farmers who geek out on the latest equipment, well, Big Iron is the place to be.

“One of the things I noticed about Big Iron is it’s a different style of farm show because when it says ‘Big Iron,’ there is a lot of big iron – a lot of equipment in this farm show,” MSGA President Bob Worth said. “If someone wants to see the newest technologies in ag, Big Iron has it.”

Using smartphones or the iPads that were available, visitors in the Minnesota Soybean booth could scan, view and listen to a “future farmer” and learn how the checkoff is “planting for the future” and making investments todad that benefit tomorrow’s farmers. Council Research Director David Kee was also in the booth, meeting with farmers and discussing agronomic challenges and advancement in soybean production in northwest Minnesota.

MSGA President Bob Worth (left) is all smiles as gets behind the mic at the 2023 Big Iron Farm Show in Fargo, N.D.

MSGA shared the booth with MSR&PC. Worth was stationed with farmer-leaders, including American Soybean Association Director Jim Kukowski, throughout the three days. Worth, who farms in southwestern Minnesota, pushed MSGA membership and the benefits associated with joining MSGA, as well as other efforts MSGA has assisted with, including lobbying for the Ag Innovation Campus (AIC), which held its grand opening ceremony in Crookston on Sept. 14.

The AIC hosts a specialty crushing facility, allowing universities, commodity groups and private seed developers access to affordable processing that aims to lower costs while promoting growth of value-added products. The grand opening was held in conjunction with Big Iron.

“At Big Iron, you don’t see as many legislative leaders as other farm shows,” Worth said. “It’s truly a farmer-focused farm show, so you get to visit a lot with growers and their concerns about everything from growing conditions to Farm Bill and anything else.”

Established in 1980 and held at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, Big Iron boasts over 900 exhibit booths, training sessions and demonstrations. The three-day farm show brings together industry leaders, fellow farmers, ranchers and exhibitors.

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