Forums set for 2019 Farmfest

GILFILLAN ESTATE — Opening day Farmfest forums will center on global trade agreements and impacts to growers, national agriculture leaders discussing ag policy and the state of rural Minnesota and agriculture Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Chris Pothen, CHS (Cenex Harvest States) Vice President of Global Grain Marketing North America, will talk at 9 a.m. in the forum building near the center of the event.

A Murdock native and University of Minnesota economics major, he formerly was the CHS Global Soybean Trade Coordinator. He’s traveled around the world including many trips to China, meeting with long-time Chinese buyers.

The 10:30 a.m. Tuesday forum features five panelists discussing agriculture policy. Panelists are American Farm Bureau President “Zippy” Duvall, National Farmers Union Vice President Rob Larew, MN Agri-Growth Executive Director Tamera Nelsen, National Corn Growers Association board member Harold Wolle and American Soybean Association board member Jerry Schruers.

The free Minnesota Corn Growers sweet corn feed follows at 11:45 a.m.

During the Linder Farm Network noon show, Duvall, Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, This Week in Agriculture host Orion Samuelson and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association president are set to speak.

At 1:15 p.m., a group of Minnesota commissioners, and a deputy and assistant commissioner will discuss the state of rural Minnesota and the agriculture industry.

Panelists include Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Laura Bishop, Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly, Department of Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley, Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Barb Naramore and Assistant Commissioner of Public Health Courtney Jordan Baechler.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau free pancake breakfast starts at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7 in the forum building. A grain and livestock market update begins at 9 a.m.

A U.S. House Ag Committee listening session hosted by U.S. House Ag Committee Chairman Congressman Collin Peterson (Mn) on the farm economy starts at 10:30 a.m. Members of the U.S. House Ag Committee and Minnesota Congressional delegation will be included.

The Linder Farm Network noon show features Rep. Peterson, Compeer Financial CEO Rob Hebrink and Heron Lake-Okabena FFA member Ellie Sheldahl will sing.

A 1:15 p.m. forum centers on battling pandemic livestock diseases. A forum on farm and ranch succession planning begins at 3 p.m.

On Thursday, Aug. 8, the 9 a.m. forum centers on farm transition, estate and business planning with Andy Zenk of AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Eastern Iowa farmer Jolene Brown will talk about laughing, better health, understanding important issues and positive relationships to increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind at 10:30 a.m.

The noon show features University of Minnesota extension leaders, Farmfest Forums Coordinator Kent Thiese, Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association president.

New things this year at Farmfest include planted hemp demonstration areas and experts meeting one-on-one with attendees to answer questions on growing hemp.

Daily cattle chute demonstrations will be held for livestock producers.

Tickets are $8 online in advance and $10 at the gate. Visit Farmfest.com for a full schedule of events.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).