Attend the 2016 Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting will be November 17-19 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. The meeting will have a variety of sessions on agricultural issues, leadership development, the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) contests and award banquets.

Keynote Speaker: John Kriesel

John Kriesel will be the keynote speaker at the noon luncheon on Saturday, November 19.

In 2006, Kriesel nearly lost his life to a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq, but battlefield angels in army uniforms kept him breathing long enough to reach a field hospital. He died three times and was shocked back to life. Somehow he survived through four hospitals, 35 surgeries and months of recovery. He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries, but it was the loss of two close friends that hurt the most. The guy who wasn't supposed to survive and was told he probably would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life walked out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center after nine months.

Eight years after his near-death experience in Iraq Kriesel is Director of Veterans Services for Anoka County, a frequent contributor on KFAN Sports Radio and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Kriesel lives with his wife Katie and sons Elijah and Brody in Cottage Grove.


The voting delegate session will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, November 18, followed by a social hour with elected officials at 4:00 p.m. The awards banquet, President's address and Foundation auction will also be held on Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

In addition, from 8:30 a.m.-Noon on Friday, attendees can assist the Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee with Ag in the Classroom visits. From 1:30-3:30 p.m., a service project will be held, where sandwiches will be made for Allan Law known as "The Sandwich Guy" to distribute to those in need.

On Saturday, November 19, members can attend general sessions and the Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions. The noon luncheon will include the finals of the YF&R Discussion Meet and the announcement of the YF&R award winners.

The meeting will conclude on Saturday with the grand prize drawing – a non-transferrable air and hotel expense paid trip for one paid Farm Bureau member to the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, January 6-10, 2016.

Speakers and Panels

There will be three general sessions for participants to attend on Saturday, November 19.
  • “Strategic Communications in a Social Media World” - Mace Thornton American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Executive Director of Communications will discuss topics such as transparency, sustainability and feeding the world and how findings from communications research conducted with consumers can help build a foundation for engagement around personal farm and ranch stories.
  • “Property Taxes 101” - A panel of state and county experts will explain property tax terms, how the property tax process works and opportunities to get involved. Panelists include: Jon Klockziem from the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Dan Lippert a MFBF property task tax force member and Scott County Auditor Cindy Geis.
  • “Election Update and Legislative Preview” - Mary Kay Thatcher AFBF Senior Director Congressional Relations will recap the 2016 elections and preview what’s to come with a new Congress and a new state legislature in 2017.


The always anticipated semifinal and final rounds of the YF&R Discussion Meet and the final Excellence in Agriculture presentations will be held throughout the day on Saturday, November 19. The Final Four Discussion Meet will be held during the noon luncheon.

This year, the Collegiate Discussion Meet will also be held in conjunction with the MFBF Annual Meeting. The winner of this contest will represent Minnesota at the American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet in February 2017.

Banquets and Other Highlights

Many distinguished Farm Bureau members will be recognized at the Friday, November 18, banquet including: Awards of Excellence, Honorary Life Awards, the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award and the MFB Foundation Awards. The Friday awards banquet will also feature MFBF President Kevin Paap’s address and the MFB Foundation fundraising auction.


For registration information, contact your county Farm Bureau or Lori Wiegand at 651-768-2102 or Registration forms and online registration information can be found at Pre-registration is required by October 28. Register at the conference after October 28 with an additional $5 charged per meal.