REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — The panel members for the 2021 Farmfest Feature Forums were recently announced. The forums will be held August 3, 4, and 5, in the Wick Buildings Forum and Education Center on the Farmfest Site, which is located at the Gilfillan Estate, 7 miles southeast of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Farmfest will be a “live event” again in 2021 with normal array of exhibits, food and entertainment, and will feature an exciting line-up of feature forums, according to Kent Thiesse, Farmfest Educational Forum Coordinator. Thiesse indicates that the forums will have a heavy emphasis on key topics and policy issues affecting farm families and rural communities.
A feature forum titled “U.S. Ag Policy at the Crossroads …… Where do we go from here ?” will be held on Tuesday, August 3, from 10:30 to 11:50 AM. The forum will focus on many of the national policy issues that are affecting the agriculture industry and rural communities today. Confirmed panel members include Bill Northey, former USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture and ag policy expert, Congresswoman Michele Fischbach, and Congressman Jim Hagedorn. They will be joined by Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation President, Rob Larew, National Farmers Union President, and Bill Gordon, Chair of the American Soybean Assn. Board. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has also been invited to participate in this forum.
The feature Farmfest forum for the afternoon of Tuesday, August 3, at 1:15 PM is titled: “Agriculture’s Role in Carbon Sequestration”. This intriguing forum will provide background information on climate change and carbon sequestration, as well as an opportunity to hear from farmers and experts that have experience with carbon credits and other carbon sequestration efforts. Panel members will include Thom Petersen, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture, Jason Weller, Vice President of the Truterra Division of Land O Lakes, Kris Johnson, Interim Ag Director with The Nature Conservancy, Tim Palmer, Iowa farmer and Immediate Past-President of the National Assn. of Conservation Districts, Brian Ryberg, crop producer from Buffalo Lake, MN and winner of the 2021 American Soybean Assn. “Conservation Legacy Award”, and John Reed, MN Livestock Breeders Assn. Hall of Fame member and cattle producer from Brooten, MN.
Several prominent agricultural leaders will join former Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson for the feature forum at Farmfest on Wednesday morning, August 4, at 10:30 AM, which is titled: “Designing the Ideal Farm Bill in a Changing World”. The forum will include a discussion of several important provisions and some deficiencies in the current Farm Bill, which is set to expire in 2023, as well as how current trends and ag policy issues might affect the development of the next Farm Bill. Former Congressman Peterson served as Chair or Ranking Member of the U.S. House Ag Committee during the development of the several recent Farm Bills. He will be joined on the Panel by the following ag leaders: Don Schiefelbein, incoming President of the National Cattleman’s Beef Assn, Tom Haag, Vice President of the National Corn Growers Assn., Kevin Paap, President of Minnesota Farm Bureau, Gary Wertish, MN Farmers Union President, Mike Yost, farm operator from Murdock, MN, and Lucas Sjostrom, Executive Director of the MN Milk Producers Assn.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has been invited deliver a keynote address on Wednesday, August 4 at 1:10 PM, just prior to the feature forum that afternoon titled: “Rural Resiliency ……Redesigning the U.S. Energy System”. This forum will be an opportunity to learn more about U.S. and Minnesota clean energy proposals, as well as how biofuels, wind and solar energy, and other energy sources fit into these plans. The forum panel will feature MN Congresswoman Angie Craig, State Senator Gary Dahms from Redwood Falls, Tim Waibel, Nicollet County farmer President of the MN Corn Growers Assn., Bob Worth, Lincoln County farmer and MN Soybean Growers Assn. board member, and Cliff Kaehler, CEO of Novel Energy Solutions. Other panel invitees include U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Congressman Pete Stauber, and Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold.
The feature forum on Thursday morning, August 5, at 10:00 AM will include a panel of women agricultural leaders discussing hot topics in the ag industry and the ongoing challenges that face women in the ag industry. At the conclusion of the panel, the five finalists for the 2021 Farmfest “Woman of the Year” will be introduced, concluding with the announcement of the winner.
Joan Gabel, President at the University of Minnesota, will give a welcome address for the “Farm Family of the Year” Recognition Program. This event is a FARMFEST tradition that will be held on Thursday, August 5, at 1:15 PM, honoring approximately 80 farm families from throughout Minnesota have been selected at the county level for this special recognition. This event is jointly sponsored by the University of Minnesota and the IDEAg Group, LLC.
A free pancake breakfast sponsored by MN Farm Bureau will be held from Wednesday, August 4, from 8:00-10:00 AM, featuring American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and MN Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap. During the pancake breakfast, Lynn Ketelsen and Kent Thiesse will host a special “Ag Outlook Forum” that will feature several grain marketing, weather and crop experts.
For more details on the FARMFEST forums and presentations, please contact Kent Thiesse, FARMFEST Forum Coordinator (507-381-7960) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the exhibits, plots, activities and other details at FARMFEST, please refer to the IDEAg FARMFEST website at: http://www.ideaggroup.com/ or contact Amy LaTessa, FARMFEST Show Manager (815-621-32540) or email@example.com
— Kent Thiesse, FARMFEST Forum Coordinator
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