Ag and Extension Briefs

Applications being accepted for MARL Class X

Applications are now being accepted for the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) Class X.

MARL is a dynamic two-year educational experience featuring nine three-day in-state seminars, a six-day national study seminar and a 10- to 14-day international study seminar. Its mission is to develop the skills of Minnesota’s agricultural and rural leaders so they may maximize their impact and effectiveness in local, state, national and international arenas.

Up to 30 participants will be selected for Class X, said Executive Director Olga Reuvekamp. Applications will be accepted through April 12. The first Class X session will be in November, 2018.

Reuvekamp said the preferred applications process is online at Those unable to apply online may contact Reuvekamp at: 507-537-6430;

The MARL curriculum is designed to have immediate applicability for active leaders. Each session features a mix of leadership study, personal skill-building, and location-related subject matter.

A majority of each class’ makeup is agricultural producers, and others are professionals involved in rural, ag-related business.

The seminar calendar is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of participants. Most of the activities occur over the winter months.

“The MARL program is heading into its 10th class and people are starting to become familiar with what the program is about. We want to encourage participation from all areas of Minnesota. The state is large and there are very diverse types of agriculture in different regions,” she said.

U of M Beef Team to host Cow/Calf Days Seminar Tour and Trade Show in February

The University of Minnesota Beef Team will host the annual Cow/Calf Days Seminar Tour and Trade Show at 10 locations across the state in January and February. This event has been held for over 40 years and continues to be the leading information, technology, and research outlet for cow/calf producers in the state of Minnesota.

The 2018 event will feature information on marketing calf value, genetic selection for commercial cow-calf operators, and backgrounding the calf crop on the ranch. The program also will feature a panel discussion on genetics and management. Updates from the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association will also highlight the event. The corresponding tradeshow will feature vendors with new information, technology, and products with a wide array of practical uses for the operators in the cow-calf sector.

The program is directed at cow/calf producers, allied industry representatives, and is open to the public. A meal will be served with the program and a registration fee of $10 will include the meal, proceedings book, and program materials.

More information can be found at the Cow/Calf Days Seminar Tour and Trade Show website: or contact Eric Mousel at 218.398.1916,

Feb. 7 — Pipestone, 9:30 a.m., Minnesota West Community College, 1314 N. Hiawatha Ave.

Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification workshops scheduled

If you need to renew your Private Pesticide Applicator certification, you can do so by attending one of the upcoming recertification workshops sponsored by University of MN Extension. These workshops offer a great opportunity to review regulations and safety issues related to pesticide application, as well as provide you with the latest University research on integrated pest management.

You need to renew your private pesticide applicator certification in 2018 if you:

Apply pesticides to land or sites you own, rent or lease for the production of agriculture commodities and

Plan to use restricted use pesticides and

Reside in the state of Minnesota and

Your certification expires in 2018

Recertification workshops scheduled for southwestern Minnesota include:

Jan. 30, Pipestone, West Community & Technical College-Rm 127: 12:30-4 p.m.

Feb. 1, Slayton, Murray County 4-H Bldg: 12:30-4 p.m.

Feb 13, Lamberton, Southwest Research and Outreach Center: 12:30-4 p.m.

Feb 19, Marshall, MERIT Center: 12:30-4 p.m.

For a complete listing of workshops offered throughout the state, check the U of MN Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education website or call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077. In case of inclement weather, please check these sources for any weather-related updates.

Workshop topics will include:

Pesticide Laws and Regulations

Personal Protective Equipment

Applicator Health Effects

Application Equipment and Tank Cleanout

Current Crop and Pest Issues and Integrated Pest Management

Registration for the recertification workshops will be taken at the door. Anyone attending a workshop for recertification must bring a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Bringing your Private Pesticide Applicator Certification card will assist in the registration process as well.

Attending a recertification workshop renews your certification for three years. Note: you must attend the entire workshop to meet recertification requirements.

For those who are unable to attend a workshop or would rather retest for recertification, two other options exist. You may either complete the test as a home study course (books and tests available at most County Extension offices) or you may complete the test online at

The cost to recertify, either by attending a recertification workshop or retesting, is $75. A farmer who is not currently certified (i.e. becoming certified for the first time or their certification expired in 2017 or earlier) is required to first take the test to become certified.

Note these workshops are separate from the additional training required for certified applicators who wish to apply dicamba formulations onto dicamba-tolerant soybeans in 2018. Check the Minnesota Crop Production Retailers Association website at for more information and to register for one of these sessions.

Contact Liz Stahl, Extension educator in crops (507-372-3900 ext. 3912, or if you have any questions or need further information about these workshops.

Women in Ag Network third annual conference on Feb. 15

“Overcoming Adversity,” the third annual Women in Ag Network Conference will be Feb. 15, in St. Cloud at the Holiday Inn and Suites. This third annual event will be a day of learning and networking for women involved in agriculture. Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. with conference program from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Katie Pinke, publisher of AgWeek and blogger of The Pinke Post, will be the keynote speaker. The title of her presentation is, “Accepting Interruptions to Define Your Path Forward,” where Pinke will explain that even the most well-orchestrated plans aren’t exempt from interruptions on the farm or off the farm. Drawing upon trials and triumphs in her personal life and ag business career, Pinke will help attendees define their best path forward through life’s pivotal moments.

Breakout sessions will feature five diverse tracks for attendees to choose from: farm business planning, stress management on farms, consumer advocacy, risk management, and farm safety and health. The day will end with a panel discussion with panelists sharing how they have overcome adversity, whether it be a health challenge, weather event, farm transition, or other farm challenges.

Registration is required for the conference at The early bird rate is $50 until Feb. 1. After that date, regular registrations are $65 and accepted until Feb. 8. Students receive a special rate of $20.

The Women in Ag Network is a collaboration between University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota’s Farm Service Agency. For more information visit Contact Sarah Schieck ( or 320-235-0726 ext. 2004) or Megan Roberts ( or 507-389-6722) with questions.

Raven Industries gives $5M to SDSU for precision ag building

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls company is donating $5 million toward building a home for the precision agriculture program at South Dakota State University.

Raven Industries President and CEO Dan Rykhus said the donation is an investment, noting the company’s work in the field of precision agriculture.

SDSU offers a four-year degree in precision agriculture and two minors in the field.

The Argus Leader reported that the state Legislature must approve construction of the building on the SDSU campus in Brookings.