Over 200 Farm Bureau members from across the state attended the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Leadership Conference, January 24-25, at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.
Attendees toured North Dakota State University Beef Cattle Research Complex, Commodity Trading Room, Research Greenhouse Complex and Northern Crops Institute. Another tour group toured the the Hjemkomst Center and conducted a service project for Great Plains Food Bank.
Betty Wolanyk was the featured speaker. Her topics included: asking the right questions; extremist groups; and Food Land and People. Other speakers included: YF&R 101, Beef Up Your Food Knowledge, Red River Agriculture History, Eggs and Issues, agricultural literacy, weather, agronomy, succession planning, engaging youth, water quality, technology, leadership, markets and a Make and Take session entitled “Green, Blue and You.”
Attendees also heard from Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap, Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Ryan Buck, Senator Kent Ekken (DFL-Twin Valley) and Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams.
While at the Great Plains Food Bank, Farm Bureau members packed 500 bags of food for the backpack program for elementary children and donated $400 from the MFBF Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee and the MFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee.
During the conference, Farm Bureau members raised $2,108 for the Harvest for All Feeding America program. Throughout the year, farmers and ranchers across the nation donate food, funds and people power to create a hunger-free America.
In addition, an auction was also held and $575 was raised for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares. The South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares fund is helping ranchers impacted by the blizzard, Atlas, which devastated many families and their ranches in Western South Dakota at the beginning of October.
Discussion meet contestants also competed in the preliminary rounds of the competition while at the conference. Contestants are judged on their basic knowledge of critical farm issues and their ability to exchange ideas and information in a setting aimed at cooperative problem solving.
Eight semi-finalists were selected and will compete in the final two rounds of competition at the MFBF Annual Conference in November. The eight semi-finalists are: Jake Hein in Becker County, Sara Hewitt in LeSueur County, Brad Lanoue in Blue Earth County, Joel Mathiowetz in Redwood County, Loren Molenaar in Kandiyohi County, Brian Randolph in Dakota County, Carl Sackreiter in Winona County and Joe Sullivan in Renville County.
The conference was sponsored in part by the generous support of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and support from the following organizations: Bremer Bank, Brenny Farms, Happy Dancing Turtle, Haycreek Ag Services, Hoseth Seeds, Krusemark Farms, Lindy Meadows LLC, Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation, Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, New Fashion Pork LLP, Professional Training Institute of America, Renville County Farm Bureau, Scott County Farm Bureau, Sogge Tax Service, Stockman’s Supply, Sustainable Farming Association, Syngenta Crop Protection, Titan Machinery Outlet and Wright County Farm Bureau.