ST. PAUL — Farm Bureau members from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation’s Farming Today program participated in a panel discussion addressing “It’s All About Choice: Comparing the Merits of Organic & Conventional Farming” on February 15. The panel was hosted by Minnesota State University, Mankato as part of their 2017-2018 “We Have Ag!” colloquium series.
Minnesota State University – Mankato’s “We Have Ag!” colloquium series is intended to highlight the University’s academics, research and industry connections in agriculture, food and natural resources. The series events are live-streamed and found on demand at www.mnsu.edu/acadaf/colloquium.html The events are free and open to the public at the university’s Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.
“These are great forums in which to learn about the success stories of Minnesota State Mankato students, alumni, faculty and staff in their academics, research and industry connections,” said Marilyn Wells, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “These events also help us explore our future potential as a Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA), a designation we achieved in 2015. We invite the campus and local communities to attend and join us in determining our destiny.”
The panelists included Kevin Dahlman – corn and soybean seed farmer who is president and general manager of Dahlco Seeds, Inc. from Wright County; Wanda Patsche, a conventional crop and pig farmer and owner of CW Pork, Inc. from Martin County; Jared Luhman, an organic crop and grass-fed beef farmer who is assistant manager of Dry Creek Red Angus Farm from Goodhue County; and Chris Sukalski, dairy manager of Reiland Farms, LLP from Fillmore County.
When asked what brings you the most joy – the panelists answered as follows:
- “I love what I do, and it’s just the best job in the world,” said Luhman.
- “New born calves bring me the most joy – hands down,” said Sukalski
- “I call it the circle of life. With my little baby corn plants, I get to watch them grow and grow and grow into healthy productive plants. I get to harvest them and know that they have served a great purpose in life,” said Dahlman. “I get to do that at least 40 times in my life. How great is that.”
- “I am both humbled and awestruck when I think about our responsibility to provide food for other families. Providing an affordable, safe and healthy food supply – it just doesn’t get any better than that. “said Patsche
The February 15 moderator was Carolyn Olson, a U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic crop farmer and a conventional pig farmer. Olson is the chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation Organic and Direct Marketing Issue Advisory Committee and past chair of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Organic Advisory Task Force.
“We have confidence in what we grow, whether organic or conventional, so that you can have confidence in what you purchase at the grocery store. You can feel good that you are supporting Minnesota and American farmers,” said Olson.
The Farming Today program was also part of a panel on November 18 addressing, “Water Quality in Minnesota: What are the Effects of Buffer Strips & Nitrate Testing?” For more information about the colloquium series, including on-demand video of previous events and a list of upcoming topics, visit the series http://www.mnsu.edu/acadaf/colloquium.html
Seventy-five Minnesota farmers are available to share their story through the Farming Today program. Farming Today volunteers are located throughout Minnesota. They include farmers who raise crops, dairy and beef cattle, poultry and pigs. To learn more about Farming Today go to fbmn.org/speak-for-yourself or learn more on the Facebook page Farming Today Speakers
“More than 40-percent of audiences report their understanding of agriculture was changed favorably after hearing a farmer share his or her story,” said Kristin Harner, MFB public relations director. “These opportunities to work with universities are a great opportunity for our speakers to share their story on what they do on their farms to raise healthy food while using responsible, sustainable farming methods.”
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,712 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.
The Farming Today program is made possible by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation, in partnership with Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Compeer Financial, CHS, AgCountry, Minnesota Beef Council, Riverview, LLP and Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.
— Minnesota Farm Bureau
For more news from Minnesota, click here.