MANKATO, Minn. — Everyone left a winner after playing the Game of Soy at Farmfest.
“Watching everyone from kids to grandparents participate in the Game of Soy and interact at each stop was wonderful,” said Joe Serbus, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council chair. “Engagement was high, and the learning opportunities to promote the soy checkoff were numerous.”
The interactive elements at each stop were a welcomed distraction from the heat, especially Tuesday’s sweltering temperatures, when the real-feel exceeded 100 degrees. Whether attendees were identifying weeds, answering soy versatility trivia questions or guessing the amount of foreign material (FM) in samples of soybeans, there were hands-on learning experiences to help attendees get a better grasp of the many ways MSR&PC serves Minnesota soybean farmers.
“MSR&PC invests checkoff dollars in so many areas of the agriculture industry, and many people, including soybean farmers, don’t realize the scope of our investments,” MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka said. “This year’s tent was an excellent way to engage without making them feel like they were being taught.”
As they finished playing the game, everyone received an MSR&PC and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association-branded tumbler, which were handed out and “Bean Breaks” throughout the game. Each tumbler boasted the phrase “The Perfect Brew” to remind the farming community how both organizations work together to strengthen the soybean industry. And to compliment the tumbler, MSGA members received a free bag of coffee, which is locally roasted in Mankato.
Besides playing the Game of Soy, visitors put a lot of miles on their shoes as they strolled the 50-acre site, perusing more than 500 different exhibits. There were also multiple opportunities to listen to various panel discussions that delved into policy, such as the Congressional Candidate Forum on Ag and Rural Issues and the Minnesota Governor Candidate Forum.
As they entered the Minnesota Soybean tent, attendees chose a career: farmer, agronomist, loan officer or county commissioner – and then followed the “path” their playing cards indicated to soy stops. At each stop, attendees learned how Minnesota Soybean impacts their chosen career.
Throughout the three day event, there were veteran farmers learning about how MSR&PC invests their checkoff dollars, children enthusiastically following the game path painted on the floor, excited to see what the next stop entailed, and everyone in between learning about the power of soy.
Council directors who participated included Serbus, Gail Donkers, Pat Sullivan, Paul Freeman, Rochelle Krusemark and Gene Stoel.
“We’re so proud to visit with old and new friends alike at Farmfest and represent Minnesota soybean farmers,” Serbus said. “And this Farmfest was certainly one to remember.”
— Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council