Minnesota Soybean Business

MSGA Did You Know?: The newsmakers

There’s no such thing as a slow news week in the world of soybeans.

For more than 30 years, Minneline has served as Minnesota’s premier source for timely soybean and agriculture news. The weekly newsletter was first published in the 1980s, and initiated by then-Executive Director Jim Palmer. When Mike Youngerberg was hired in 1986, he was instructed to be a “walking-talking Minneline” in Minnesota Soybean’s organized county program.

“Jim wanted a way to communicate to the farmers some of the important issues they couldn’t get from other sources,” said Youngerberg, the organization’s resident historian.

Each issue was published via mimeograph, and mailed to farmer-leaders from both the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, along with the chairs of the 30-something organized counties throughout the state at the time. The newsletter delivered the latest update, including research updates, policy news, upcoming events, awards and lighthearted dispatches from the county levels. However, unlike today’s Minneline, which is distributed freely to anyone who signs up for the newsletter, the first era of Minneline was published as an internal document not to be shared among the greater agriculture community.

“Minneline is for soybean leaders only!!!” read the Sept. 15, 1995 edition. OK, got it!

During the early days of Minneline, MSGA also compiled a separate four-page monthly newsletter, MinnSoy Voice. The publication served as a precursor to Soybean Business, which debuted in fall 2002.

Minneline has come a long way since this issue in 1997.  It’s now electronically distributed to 4,000 readers every Thursday.

By the early 2010s, Minneline was still snail mailed to recipients, but had now advanced to digital printing via PDFs. In 2014, Minneline went modern and began being distributed via email. Today’s Minneline, which is compiled by Council and MSGA’s communication team and overseen by Digital Media Manager Kristeena Thisius, mixes both original and sourced content highlighting the latest Minnesota Soybean news, along with a poll question and events calendar.

“I came from the newspaper world where community meant everything and information was fast-paced,” said Sr. Director of Communications Doug Monson, who helped design the modern Minneline template. “I saw Minneline as the perfect vehicle to build soybean community engagement at a more modern pace. Today, Minneline is the pinnacle of commodity newsletters.”

Youngerberg says he remains an avid reader.

“Yeah, absolutely!” he said. “I wouldn’t miss it, because there’s a lot of news coming out of this office and it can be hard to keep up with. Everything in Minneline is relevant to soybean farmers.”

In 2020, Minneline earned regional National Agri-Marketing Association honors for editions related to coverage during the state’s COVID-related shutdown, when the Council and MSGA shared critical resources with producers. Minneline will be entered again for consideration this year, and is now delivered to 4,000 subscribers.

Sign-up for free today by clicking here.. During the legislative session, MSGA publishes the MSGA Bulletin, its own e-newsletter exclusive to members, featuring policy updates from lobbyists and farmer-leaders. Visit MSGA’s membership page  to join MSGA.



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