With over 900 exhibitors, it can be difficult to stand out at the Big Iron Farm Show. But with a new look and the Minnesoyta campaign, people walking by stopped at the Minnesota Soybean booth out of curiosity.
The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), sharing a booth space, spent a good amount of time explaining the differences and similarities between the two organizations. Some people stopped specifically to ask questions about the checkoff as well.
MSGA Vice President Theresia Gillie, who spent time at the exhibit explaining the differences and value of both organizations, said Big Iron is an opportunity to reach out and educate.
“This is a great time to talk to farmers about how we are utilizing their dollars to make them more profitable,” Gillie said.
Justin Ge of MEG Corp also joined soybean farmers in the booth all week to answer biodiesel questions from farmers and others.
Growers Focus on Upcoming Dates & Issues
MSR&PC Chairman Keith Schrader took some time at the show to interview with Don Wick of the Red River Farm Network, highlighting the value of the See for Yourself mission where farmers can learn how their checkoff is opening new soybean markets and growing current ones. Schrader said the mission is also a great opportunity for farmers to evaluate their soybean checkoff.
“Farmers have until October 23 to sign up for the mission,” Schrader said. “With more than half of our state’s annual soybean crop exported each year, it is important we keep a good relationship with our international customers and grow those markets. This is a great way for farmers to see those relationships and where our soybeans are going.”
Schrader also reminded listeners to get into their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to make sure they are signed up and ready to go for all farm program payments. He said he has been hearing that there are low percentages of farmers actually signed up across the state.
Gillie also spoke with Wick at the show, highlighting how MSGA is working for farmers on current issues affecting them. She pointed out the recent comments the Governor has made on how farmers maintain their land.
“It is disturbing to see how he talks about farmers, especially when we are working hard to keep our land and water healthy,” she said. “It’s confusing when things like pipelines cannot be put through because they call the waters ‘pristine’, but then turn-around and say they are cesspools because of farming practices. Which is it? So our work is cut-out for us.”
She also took a little time to highlight the difference between MSGA & MSR&PC for listeners.
USB Highlights Weed Management
Also sharing the booth space with MSGA and MSR&PC was the United Soybean Board (USB). Representatives from USB focused on their Take Action on Weeds campaign, answering weed resistance questions and providing resources for farmers to utilize when making herbicide decisions.
People walking by also had the opportunity to try their hand at mini golf with USB, maneuvering their way through pigs feeding to attempt a hole-in-one.