REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — The 2021 Farmfest Feature Forums will have a heavy emphasis on key topics and policy issues affecting farm families and rural communities. This includes “big picture” policy issues such as the infrastructure bill in Congress, changes in tax policy, climate change legislation, and future U.S. and Minnesota energy policy. The forums will also include discussions on drought conditions and assistance, grain markets, and key issues affecting livestock producers. 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.
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. Panel members include Bill Northey, former USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture, Congresswoman Michele Fischbach, Congressman Tom Emmer, and Congressman Jim Hagedorn. They will be joined by Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation President, Rob Larew, National Farmers Union President, Bill Gordon, Chair of the American Soybean Assn. Board, and Dave Preisler, CEO of the MN Pork Producers Assn.
The Farmfest feature 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”, John Reed, MN Livestock Breeders Assn. Hall of Fame member and cattle producer from Brooten, MN, and Steve Commerford, owner of Commerford Agronomics, Inc. of New Ulm, MN.
A free pancake breakfast sponsored by MN Farm Bureau will be held at Farmfest on 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 from 8:30-1:00 AM, Lynn Ketelsen and Kent Thiesse will host a special “Ag Outlook Forum” that will focus on grain markets, weather, drought, crop conditions and more. Special guests during the Ag Outlook Forum include grain marketing analysts Jim Emter with Van Ahn & Co. and Mark Schultz with Northstar Commodities. U of M Extension Educators Dave Nicolai and David Bau, and Dan Lemke, Linder Farm Network weather expert.
Several prominent agricultural leaders will join former Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson for the feature forum 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 owner and 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 and Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold, along with 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.
The feature forum on Thursday morning, August 5, at 10:00 AM is the “Women in Ag Forum”, which 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. The panel will be moderated by Sarah Kueschel, the 2020 “Farmfest Woman Farmer of the Year” Panel members include Julie Tesch, CEO for the Center for Rural Policy, Sarah Hewitt owner of Maple Wood Farms, Faribault, MN, Carolyn Olson, owner of Olson Organics at Cottonwood, MN and a MN Farm Bureau Federation Board member, and Corey Ramsden Scott, Senior Transformation Manager for Land O’Lakes. 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 this year’s winner. The Women in Ag Forum is sponsored by Ag Country Farm Credit Services, CHS, Earth Scout, Ziegler ag Equipment, the U of M water Certification Program, and IDEAg.
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 IDEAg.
Farmfest will include three other special presentations in the Forum building. The first presentation will be presented on Tuesday, August 3, at 9:00 AM is sponsored by Farm Bureau Financial Services featuring and is titled: “Investing off the Farm”, featuring Jeff Mahoney and Matt Wojacik, Wealth Management Advisors. The second presentation is titled: “What you should know about Alternative Grain Contracts”, which is sponsored by CHS and will be held on Tuesday, August 3 at 3:00 PM, featuring Kent Beadle with CHS Hedging. Another presentation titled: “What’s Going on in the Farm Estate Planning and Business Planning World”, featuring Bobbi Sondreal, a consultant on succession and retirement planning, will be held on Wednesday, August 4 at 3:00 PM and is sponsored by Ag Country farm Credit Services.
Farmfest will be a “live event” again in 2021 with the normal array of exhibits, food and entertainment, as well as featuring an exciting line-up of feature forums. 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/. For more details on the Farmfest forums and presentations, please contact Kent Thiesse, Farmfest Educational Forum Coordinator (507-381-7960) or email@example.com.
2021 FARMFEST FORUM SCHEDULE
Wick Buildings Farmfest Forum & Education Center, Gilfillan, MN
Tuesday, August 3:
9:00 AM — “Investing off the Farm” (Sponsored by Farm Bureau Financial Services)
10:30 AM — “U.S. Ag Policy at the Crossroads … Where do we go from here ?”
12:00 PM — Linder Farm Network Noon Show
1:15 PM — “Agriculture’s Role in Carbon Sequestration”
3:00 PM — “What You Should Know About Alternative Grain Contracts”
(Sponsored by CHS)
Wednesday, August 4:
8:00–10:00 AM — “Minnesota Farm Bureau Pancake Breakfast”
8:30 AM — “Ag Outlook Forum …… Markets, Weather, Crops and More”
10:30 AM — “Designing the Ideal Farm Bill in a Changing World”
12:00 PM — Linder Farm Network Noon Show
1:10 PM — Keynote Address by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (Invited)
1:15 PM — “Rural Resiliency … Redesigning the U.S. Energy System”
3:00 PM — “What’s Going on in the Farm Estate Planning and Business
Planning World ?” (Sponsored by Ag Country Farm Credit Services)
Thursday, August 5:
10:00 AM — “Women in Ag Forum”
Featuring the naming of the 2021 “Farmfest Women Farmer of the Year”
12:00 PM — Linder Farm Network Noon Show
1:15 PM — “Farm Family of the Year” Recognition Program
Welcome Address by Joan Gabel, University of Minnesota President
For More Information Contact: Kent Thiesse, FARMFEST Educational Forum Coordinator
Phone — (507) 381-7960
E-mail — firstname.lastname@example.org
For more news from Minnesota, click here.