MCGA hopes to bring farmers’ voices to Governor’s pollinator protection committee

Bee_Mark_MacLennan_MJM_0977-(ZF-4407-50628-1-001)Earlier today, Governor Dayton issued an executive order regarding the health of our pollinators in Minnesota. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) agrees with the governor that pollinators play a crucial role in the health of our agricultural economy and steps must be taken to ensure their continued health. Long term solutions that protect our pollinators and contribute to the sustainability of our farmers are something in which all Minnesotans have a stake. Minnesota Corn hopes to play a leadership role in the Governor’s new committee on pollinator protection to help advise the Governor and state agencies on how pollinator policies and programs will affect Minnesota farmers.

Bee and other pollinator health topics are complex. Farmers want the best science possible used to evaluate the effects of neonicotinoids and other crop protection products on the protection they offer to essential crops as well as how to minimize detrimental effects on pollinators when used. Restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids or the implementation of other policies that adversely affect farmers’ ability to make a living should be evaluated and implemented carefully. MCGA will be reviewing the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently-released Neonicotinoid Special Registration Review over the coming days. We look forward to helping find common sense solutions based in science that contribute to healthier farms and pollinators while making sure Minnesota’s farmers have access to technologies that help them manage risk on their farms.

MCGA has taken significant steps to promote pollinator health and habitat. During the 2016 legislative session, we supported successful legislation that encouraged additional pollinator habitat onto the rural landscape. We also promote the practice of farmers increasing pollinator habitat on marginal farmlands lands and urge farmers to follow best management practices when using crop protection products such as neonicotinoids.

We look forward to working closely with the governor and other state agencies to finding successful and meaningful solutions to improving pollinator health and habitat, while ensuring the viability of our state’s second-largest economic sector.

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An update on the Little Rock Creek sustainable groundwater use planning project

A group of about two dozen residents of Morrison and Benton counties held its fifth meeting with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) late last month to discuss issues surrounding groundwater and water quality concerns in and around Little Rock Creek. The DNR hopes to use feedback from the group to develop a plan to guide groundwater management in the area for the next five years.

Group members expressed concern that irrigators were being unfairly singled out as the cause of problems on Little Creek. Questions also were raised if there truly is a problem with groundwater supply in the area, and if the groundwater model DNR is developing is valid. The group also highlighted the need for potential economic impacts if appropriation permits were altered.

Other feedback from the group (collected through a state facilitator meeting individually with group members) included:

  • Some participants feel that they are not being heard;
  • Participants feel uneasy about DNR’s role as a regulatory agency;
  • Some believe there is no problem and nothing needs to be done, while others feel that it is a good time to evaluate groundwater use;
  • Some feel DNR has already decided what it’s going to do;
  • Participants would like a draft plan to react to.

DNR officials responded that there are no plans at this time to alter the amount of water provided via appropriation permits. If future information shows a need for altering permits, economic impacts would be considered. Officials also said they appreciated the open dialogue and that there are good management practices being implemented by irrigators concerning nutrients and water use.

Steve Colvin, deputy director for DNR’s division of ecological and water resources, said the agency hears five key questions related to Little Rock:

  • What is DNR doing here?
  • What’s the problem?
  • What will DNR do with appropriation permits?
  • Why were limited permits issued to some?
  • Why is there no draft plan to react to?

Colvin also addressed each question:

  • Issuing permits is not just about water levels in aquifers. DNR is required by law to issue permits only when the groundwater use is sustainable to supply future generations and use will not harm water quality.
  • Data indicates that groundwater appropriations may be depleting stream flows in late summer. Degraded water quality is also partly the result of appropriations. Finally, DNR needs more accurate and comprehensive data about much, when and where groundwater is being used.
  • More data and analysis is needed and no predictions related to permits can be made until more information is compiled.
  • As new appropriation permits were requested, DNR realized it lacked sufficient data to make sure the appropriations would not cause negative impacts. According to state law, DNR’s options were to not issue the permits or issue them with duration limits. The limits will be removed once sufficient information is secured, but other conditions may apply.
  • DNR is continuing to develop a better understanding of issues and concerns through a series of advisory group meetings because they feel it is more open and transparent that simply coming in with a plan for people to react to.

The group was scheduled to meet with DNR again on Aug. 24. Topics on the discussion agenda included economic aspects of irrigation, potential for stream augementation to address Little Rock concerns and permitting issues and reasonable use.

Questions about this project can be addressed to Mark Hauck, DNR project manager, at 320-223-7846 or mark.hauck@state.mn.us. To sign up for email updates and follow progress of the plan on the DNR’s project web page go to: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/groundwater_section/sustainability/lrc/index.html.

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Summer Camp: Farm Style

Written by: Nicole Krumrie

During their last few weeks of the summer, MCGA Interns Nicole Krumrie and Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke have been traveling across the state for Farm Camp Minnesota. During the four camps in Rice, Waseca and Dundas, Nicole and Haleigh have given 144 lessons to youth grades 3-6.

Nicole and Haleigh after talking to a group about the parts of the corn plant.

Nicole and Haleigh after talking to a group about the parts of the corn plant.

The lesson started off with Nicole leading the ‘corn detectives’ to identify parts of the corn plant and explain why they are unique and beneficial to the plant. The detectives then explored the many uses for corn after it is harvested with Haleigh. Livestock feed, ethanol, and other corn byproducts were a focus of this conversation.

Haleigh showing campers what a kernel of corn looks like.

Haleigh showing campers what a kernel of corn looks like.

Even detectives like to have fun, so the lessons concluded by playing with corn dough, made with cornstarch and dish soap, and a relay focusing on corn byproducts. The campers and camp counselors were all so astounded to realize that corn is in over 4,000 products, ranging from tires to diapers! Both the interns had a memorable time sharing their knowledge to the campers to show the importance of corn and agriculture in our everyday lives.

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Even the chaperones participated in the relay to name or draw corn byproducts!

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A-Maize-ing Corn Day at the Minnesota State Fair

 Written by: Nicole Krumrie

1255526_199837903527933_496626651_nThe Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) will be hosting ‘A-Maize-ing Corn Day’ on Friday, August 26 on the Christensen Farm Stage. MCGA will be having kids activities from 10 am-4 pm on the stage, located next to the Miracle of Birth Center on the corner of Judsen Avenue and Clough Street at the Minnesota State Fair.

“The Minnesota State Fair is an opportunity for fair goers and families to learn about agriculture and we hope to extend that during ‘A-Maize-ing Corn Day’,” said MCGA Intern Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke.

During A-Maize-ing Corn Day, MCGA will have various activities for children of all ages to participate in.  These activities include a coloring station, pollinator seed planting, playing with ‘corn dough’, story time, corn hole games, a trivia wheel, and dancing with Maizey.

There will also be a book drawing where children may enter to win one of three children’s books provided by the MCGA.

“We hope that everyone who stops by, young or old, will be able to understand how important corn is in our everyday lives,” said Nicole Krumrie, MCGA Intern.

We hope to see you on August 26 for free family fun!

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Food and farming questions answered at “Field to Fork” event

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

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Brian Thalmann welcomes guests to his family farm for the Field to Fork farm dinner.

She came to the farm Tuesday night with a lot of appreciation for what farmers do, but also with some burning questions.

Barb Schank, the school nutrition director for Waconia Independent School District, feeds 4,000 kids every school day, and she wants to know what’s in the pork products her students eat.

Wanda Patsche, a corn and soybean farmer and a hog producer, volunteers for CommonGround Minnesota, just so she can answer questions like Barb has.

“No, it’s illegal for us to use hormones for our pigs,” Wanda told Barb. “It’s illegal to use them in poultry, too. We sell our pigs to Hormel, and USDA inspectors right there at the plant test for hormones and also, they test for antibiotics to show that there is zero residue in the animal.”

“That’s really good to hear,” Barb said to Wanda, with visible relief.  “It’s in my heart—the quality of the food that I want to give to our kids.”

“Me too!” Wanda replied, telling Barb that it’s very personal to her — the quest to provide the highest quality food for the people who will eat the pork, ham, sausages and bacon that come from the animals she raises.

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Ringing the dinner bell!

The gathering Tuesday night took place at the Thalmann family farm in Plato, Minn., about an hour west of the Twin Cities. Barb and Wanda were two of about 90 farmers and consumers who communicate about food to attend the event called CommonGround Minnesota’s “Field To Fork,” farm dinner.

CommonGround Minnesota is now in its fifth year as a grassroots organization of farm women who reach out and communicate about food and farming.

Barb and Wanda went on to talk about Waconia’s groundbreaking Farm-To-School program, where kids grow and prepare some of the food they eat at school. Every course offered by the Waconia schools includes at least one lesson plan that focuses on food production.

“’Farm-To-School’ is about knowing where their food comes from,” said Dr. Richard Scott, Waconia schools’ director of grants and development, who helped Schank put together ‘Farm-To-School.’

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Guests had the opportunity to have open conversations around the dinner table.

Scott said, “You can’t cram a harvest like you cram for a test. We try to cultivate an understanding of what farming is about—seasonality, bringing a plant from seed to table. Conservation, stewardship, daily sacrifice, daily involvement. Understanding that natural law,
the principle of the farm. We try to embed learning about that in all of our classes. We use ‘Farm-To-School’ and our school gardens as a venue for kids to have that experiential learning. Even though we are on the fringe of rural America our kids don’t always have a clue about where food comes from. They need to be a part of that.”

Barb introduced Wanda to her daughter Camden, and talked about how the two of them grow and preserve cherries together, doing the hours of hard work, the pitting and the stemming.

“The artisanship of making food, I think that’s cool,” Schank said. “There’s interest in it, but the skill level of most people is dimming down. They don’t know how to cook, or source foods. That’s my place, to bring that up to kids, so they realize, ‘Oh, the beets we’re growing in the school garden can turn into beet soup.’”

After some conversation over hors d’oeuvres, Brian Thalmann and his dad Randall gave a tour of their corn and soybean farm, followed by dinner. CommonGround Minnesota volunteers also shared their farming stories and answered questions. The participants included television and newspaper reporters as well as food bloggers who reach tens of thousands of non-farming readers each week.

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Cashing in Kernels for Camp Courage

Written by Nicole Krumrie

A group of Eden Valley-Watkins FFA members empty their load of corn donations.

A group of Eden Valley-Watkins FFA members empty their load of corn donations.

For over 60 years, FFA chapters across the state have been collecting corn donations as a fundraiser for Camp Courage. Donations from the Minnesota FFA have made it possible to send children and adults with disabilities to camp as well as help maintain and build additional facilities at camp like the Speech and Hearing Therapy building, a greenhouse, and a dining hall.

 

In 1953, the idea of the corn drive was born.  Lee Asche and the Freeborn FFA chapter collected corn on the ground that had fallen to the ground after a large storm and sold it to a nearby elevator. They were able to raise $90 for Camp Courage, which allowed one Freeborn resident with Polio to attend summer camp.

Every fall, FFA members go into their communities requesting harvested corn or cash as part of the annual corn drive. FFA chapters that raise the most money in the state receive special recognition during the MN State FFA Convention held in the spring.

Joe Ramstad, Minnesota State FFA Sentinel, recognizes the importance of the longtime friendship that the FFA and Camp Courage have shared.

“Camp courage give others opportunities for activities that people may not have otherwise, it helps us to give back to the community and is another example of how we are ‘living to serve.’”

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Camp Courage participants

Ramstad offered tips for FFA chapters or community members that are wanting to raise more money or even get started in the drive.

“Getting the word out about when your FFA chapter is going to conduct the drive in your community will allow the potential to raise more money for this amazing organization. If you want to start a corn drive for your chapter or community, find a partner farmer who can work together with you to plan specific acres or plots that can be used to donate. With both of these, it is a good idea to spread the word on social media or other outlets in your community to get the word out”.

With the help of the Minnesota FFA, over 6 million dollars have been raised for Camp Courage since 1953! We acknowledge the hard work that these FFA members are doing and the community support to help this great cause. If you or your county organization would like to know more information about Camp Courage, or any other camps in the True Friends Organization, visit www.truefriends.org.  For more information about the Minnesota FFA organization, please visit www.mnffa.org.

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Sediment research will help direct farmer stewardship

The Root River in Southeast Minnesota.

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Knowing where sediment comes from will ultimately help us devise ways to reduce the amount of sediment that impacts the biological health and recreational value of Minnesota’s waterways.

For the past five years, Patrick Belmont, a watershed scientist from Utah State University, has worked to ‘fingerprint’ the sediment in the Root River Watershed, a system of rivers and streams draining an area the size of Delaware in southeast Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council funded Belmont’s research.

Using calculations of the rate of decay of a lead isotope that naturally occurs in soil, researchers could determine the source of soil particles. Samples taken from throughout the watershed and at the mouth of the Root River (where it joins the Mississippi), found that 56 percent of the sediment in the system comes from forested hill slopes and stream banks, while the other 46 percent was washed from agricultural fields in the last 20-40 years.

“Many farmers are using buffers, grassed waterways and other best management practices. Good land management has helped, but there is more that can be done,” Belmont told a group of environmental agency workers and scientists at a meeting in Preston on Monday.

His research showed that 280,000 tons of sediment are carried away each year in the Root River. The system of winding stream banks and channels also temporarily stores twice as much soil. About 500,000 tons of sediment move from one spot to another within the watershed. Cutoffs, also called ox-bow lakes, serve as a major ‘sink’ that collects sediment. But floods can flush that sediment and put it right back into the watercourse.

The volume of the water in the system is a part of what creates the energy that erodes stream banks, Belmont said. Sub-surface drainage systems on farms, or tile drainage, has added to that volume in the last few decades.

Belmont said farmers don’t need to do away with tile lines, “They serve a very important economic function, allowing farmers to use agricultural land more productively.”

However, the water flowing from the land needs to be slowed down and retained, in order to reduce sedimentation.

“Targeted water retention should become the focus for watershed managers and farmers engaging in conservation best management practices,” said Belmont. “Slowing the flow of water, and holding more water on the land in wetlands and detention ponds would have a very positive effect.”

Water holding features would solve a number of problems at once, according to Belmont. Reducing the sediment flowing into streams would prevent some of the phosphorous loading that occurs. The vegetation in ponds and wetlands would act as a sink for nitrogen fertilizer that leaves farm fields in runoff.

Among the other findings of the research:

  • In the tested subwatersheds, 7 percent of the annual precipitation leaves the fields as runoff.
  • About half of all runoff occurs when the ground is frozen—much of the dissolved phosphorous is lost at this time. Incorporating fertilizer into the ground instead of spreading it on the surface could prevent this loss.
  • 50 percent of annual nutrient and sediment losses take place during the one or two biggest rain events each year. May and June are the most dangerous times for runoff risk.
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Striking gold, helping farmers test new ideas

Written by Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

When it comes to agricultural research, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has hit a gold mine. Where is this gold mine you may ask? Well, it’s in the brain of every farmer.

While scientists go to school to learn the scientific method and the biological processes they work with, farmers live and breathe agriculture. Farmers have to use their brains every day to come up with solutions to problems and ideas to make their practice better. These farmers have some of the most innovative and efficient ideas that often go unnoticed.

This is why MCGA’s Conservation Innovation Grant program is so important. The Innovation Grants utilize the new and innovative ideas farmers come up with while offering scientific and financial support.

Wayne DeWall, Lee Thompson, and Dan Coffman are three of the 2016 recipients and have all been working hard to test their ideas. MCGA Research Director Paul Meints and interns Nicole and Haleigh had the chance to visit both sites to learn about the different ideas.

Nitrogen Rate and Timing

Wayne DeWall has been farming full-time since 1985. He has been collaborating on a project with the Root River Field to Stream Partnership monitoring runoff, sediment, and nutrient losses since 2011. Wayne has learned that he is losing around 51 lbs. per acre of total nitrogen (TN) from 60 acres, based on measurements from an edge-of-field monitoring system.

Wayne DeWall stands in his innovation plot.

Wayne DeWall stands in his innovation plot.

“There are so many negatives with nitrate runoff,” said Wayne, “We need to promote our efforts to do better.” This is what motivated him to take a look at the Innovation Grant program.

Wayne, along with other collaborators, have utilized different management recommendations to comprise three trials, each with four treatments, to test the rate and timing of nitrogen application to lessen loss.

  • Treatment #1 is Wayne’s normal yearly rate. There is a total of 170 lbs. per acre with 140 lbs. being applied as pre-plant.
  • Treatment #2 is the Best Management Practice (BMP) suggestion from the Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) calculator. There is a total of 130 lbs. per acre with 135 lbs. applied as pre-plant.
  • Treatment #3 is similar to treatment #2, but it is applied at a split rate. The pre-plant is brought down to 60 lbs. and there is another application at the V4 (fourth leaf) growth stage of 45 lbs.
  • Treatment #4 is simply a 0 rate, which means that no nitrogen was applied. These are used as check strips or as the control.

The goal of this project is to find the most economic and efficient combination of rate and timing of nitrogen application for the region Wayne resides in.

Wayne hasn’t hit any challenges or surprises yet because of the support he has from his local coop and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

“There is science behind all of this,” said Wayne, “Sound science.”

Cover Cropping Techniques

Dan and Lee have come up with a creative piece of equipment to test cover crops on their land. They took an 8 row cultivator, added 4 more rows, and attached an air seeder to run seed to each of the rows. “You can put this together pretty reasonably from a cost standpoint,” said Dan.

Lee Thompson (left) and Dan Coffman (right) stand next to the cultivator turned covercrop planter.

Lee Thompson (left) and Dan Coffman (right) stand next to the cultivator turned cover crop planter.

The treatments were split between a simple broadcast and a direct-seed method. The direct seeding method utilized drills from an old grain drill that Dan attached to the cultivator. There were two drilled rows between each row of corn. 20 acres were planted with a mixture of cereal rye, triticale, turnip, radish, and rapeseed. Another 7 acres were planted with an even mix of peas and barley.

There was some damage to the corn because the cover crop planting was pushed back to the corn’s V7 growth stage due to weather. The damage didn’t come from the planter however, but from the tractor tires. Dan would like to try this for one more year as is, with the exception of trying to plant earlier, at about the V5 stage.

“We’re excited with what we’ve been able to do, and with what we can do,” said Dan.

A few challenges have come up throughout the year. The equipment itself had to be pieced together, which takes some time. The airflow from the air seeder was also hindered at different times throughout planting. This resulted in the cover crops being planted at 15 lbs. per acre instead of 30 lbs. per acre. Because there was no pre-emergence herbicide applied, the two recognize that they have some weed problems. “Farmers say they don’t want weeds in their plots,” said Lee. This is very true, but the two feel as though in future trials they can find new ways to combat weedy invaders.

In the future, Dan and Lee would like to incorporate nitrogen application into the cover crop planting. This wasn’t needed this year though, as Climate Nitrogen Advisor showed that the fields didn’t need additional nitrogen.

Where we go from here.

These farmers are taking research to a different level by attacking common problems right on the farm. This gold mine of knowledge is vast, and MCGA is looking to continue exploration as they expand the Innovation Grant program. The new Request for Proposals (RFP) can be found here and proposals for the coming year are due on December 15, 2016.

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MCGA invites farmers to attend district meetings

MCGAThe Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) will be hosting six District Meetings around the state this fall. These meetings are free and open to all farmers.

The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for farmers to become better acquainted with recent activities of MCGA, as well as hear about what lies ahead for agriculture in Minnesota. There will also be a question and answer session with state MCGA staff and farmer leaders. Meetings will open with a short overview of MCGA’s plans for the future. There will also be a legislative update to inform farmers about new laws and other items from the last legislative session.

A feature of this year’s meetings is the Conservation Innovation Grant program. This program provides farmers with funding to implement new and innovative conservation practices on their farms. In addition, farmers will get an update on MCGA-funded research projects, learn about efforts to reach new markets, both at home and abroad, and will be brought up to date on changes in ethanol infrastructure and availability in the state.

Dates, times, and locations of the meetings are as follows:

August 17 | 3:00pm-4:30pm | Crookston
Northwest Research & Outreach Center – Younquist Auditorium
2900 University Ave, Crookston, MN 56716

August 18 | 9:00am-10:30am | Morris
West Central Research & Outreach Center – AgCountry Auditorium
46352 State Hwy. 329,  Morris, MN 56267

August 18 | 3:00pm-4:30pm | Lamberton
Southwest Research & Outreach Center – Large Meeting Room
23669 130th Street, Lamberton, MN 56152

August 24 | 10:00am-11:30am | Rochester
Rochester Community & Technical College – Heintz Center, Rm: HB 117
851 30th Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904

August 24 | 3:00pm-4:30pm | Waseca
Southern Research & Outreach Center – Admin Building Meeting Room
35838 120th Street, Waseca, MN 56093

August 25 | 10:00am-11:30am | Hutchinson
Ridgewater College – Auditorium
2 Century Avenue SE, Hutchinson MN 55350

For more information please contact the Minnesota Corn Growers Association at 952-233-0333.

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MCGA wraps up another great year at Farmfest

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Farmfest, the largest outdoor farm show in Minnesota, wrapped up its three-day 2016 show last Thursday. Once again there was a strong presence by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).

On Tuesday, MCGA sponsored “Ag Innovation Day,” which featured panel discussions, as well as a presentation by Minnesota 4-H student teams. These teams were some of the top finishers in 4-H’s Science of Agriculture challenge. MCGA also sponsored a well-attended sweet corn feed on Tuesday afternoon.

On display was a piece of equipment from an Innovation Grant recipient. Grant proposals for the upcoming year will be accepted through December 15, 2016.

On display was a piece of equipment from an Innovation Grant recipient. Grant proposals for the upcoming year will be accepted through December 15, 2016.

A prominent feature of the MCGA tent put a spotlight on the MCGA Innovation Grant program. This grant is awarded to farmers who are finding new, innovative methods to help farmers become more profitable while reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment. Featured was a farmer’s invented/adapted device that plants cover crop seed between corn rows, while simultaneously laying down a side dress of nitrogen.

Another tent highlight was the MCGA-sponsored “Nitrogen Smart” program, a free seminar for farmers and ag professionals held across the state. This is designed to bring farmers the latest research about best management practices for nitrogen. The Nitrogen Smart seminars, conducted by University of Minnesota Extension personnel, are scheduled to continue later this year.

On Wednesday, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler toured the MCGA tent. Kaler was able to witness first-hand the results of the MCGA/UMN partnership. This partnership has been able to promote and fund research at the University and publicize information and data through the Extension Service.

Representative Tim Walz (MN District 1) stopped by the tent. Intern Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke was able to chat with him about future careers in ag and policy!

Representative Tim Walz (MN District 1) stopped by the tent. Intern Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke was able to chat with him about future careers in ag and policy!

Kaler was not the only high-profile visitor to the MCGA tent. Lt Governor Tina Smith, U of M CFANS Dean Brian Buhr, Congressman Tim Walz, Congressman Tom Emmer, Minnesota Ag Commissioner Dave Frederickson, and many other elected officials, policy leaders, and candidates also stopped by.

A big hit was the UMN Dairy Lab’s iconic sweet corn ice cream, a perennial Farmfest treat. Visitors could also check out the DDGS cookies, created by MCGA-funded researchers at South Dakota State University.

A panel discussion on Wednesday focused on agricultural water quality issues. Panelists included Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) director Warren Formo and MCGA grower leader Kirby Hettver, who farms near Willmar.

Regarding the recently-released buffer maps, Hettver said, “I farm by three bodies of water, and the buffer map was wrong on all three. I went in and talked to the local SWCD and they corrected it just like that.”

Visitors of the MCGA tent could learn about ethanol, nitrogen, innovation, and more!

Visitors of the MCGA tent could learn about ethanol, nitrogen, innovation, and more!

But Hettver also said that not all local jurisdictions offer that kind of easy experience. Formo asked farmers in the audience to “…not suffer alone. If you are doing what is required and you are still facing obstacles, tell somebody. We want to help, but you have to let us know.” Formo says MAWRC is a resource that can help farmers successfully negotiate this new buffer law.

Although each year brings new challenges, farmers continue to show their commitment as stewards of the land. Through programs like MCGA’s Conservation Innovation Grants farmers can work to become leaders in the ag community. If you have questions regarding these grants, check out the new Request for Proposals (RFP) here.

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