Ag Briefs

SMSU Farm Outlook & Education seminar scheduled for Feb. 13

The 35th annual Farm Outlook & Education Seminar will be from 9 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Conference Center Ballroom at Southwest Minnesota State University.

The Farm Outlook & Education Seminar is a scholarship fundraiser for students in SMSU’s agriculture programs.

Three speakers with broad agriculture backgrounds will highlight the event. They will share their expertise on a number of ag topics, including agronomics and economics, cash flow planning in tough economic times, and analysis of current grain and livestock market conditions.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with a welcome and introductions at 9 a.m. Tickets are $75 per person, which includes lunch.

Registration deadline is Feb. 11. The preferred method of registration is online: Registration can also be mailed to: SMSU Foundation, 1501 State St., Marshall, MN, 56258.

Speakers are: Jim Emter is the CEO of Van Ahn and Company, Inc., where he started in 2003. The company has been assisting producers with risk management techniques since 1987. Their goal is to help commercial operations, producers and end users establish sound, detailed marketing plans.

Ken Franzky is the agronomy services manager of Minnesota and South Dakota for Centrol Crop Consulting. He has extensive experience as a crop management specialist, account manager and agronomy service manager with a number of major agricultural companies, including Syngenta and DuPont-Pioneer.

Kent Thiesse is the senior vice president and chief ag loan officer for MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal. In 2003, he retired from the University of Minnesota Extension Service after a 28-year career as an extension educator in agriculture. He writes a weekly column, “Focus on Ag,” that is distributed to several Midwest ag publications and web sites. He also writes regular articles for The Land newspaper and other publications.

The Farm Outlook & Education Seminar is sponsored by sustaining affiliates Ag Country Farm Credit Services, First Independent Bank, Granite Falls Bank, F&M Bank Minnesota, Marshall Radio, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnwest Bank and Ralco.

Minnesota National Farmers elects officers

Joe Neaton of Watertown was re-elected state president of Minnesota National Farmers Organization at the annual reorganization meeting in Sauk Center Jan. 19. Joe and his wife. LuAnn, operate 450 acres of alfalfa, corn, and soybeans near Watertown and raise Holstein steers. They have two sons with separate farming operations, and a third son who has a maintenance business for horse owners. Their daughter Kelly is married and lives near Wausau, Wisconsin.

Gregg Klinkner of Sleepy Eye was reelected to a second year as vice president. Klinkner and his wife have farmed 270 acres for about 30 years and raise Holstein steers. He is also second district president.

Pam Henry Neaton has declined her position as state secretary due to workload with positions at her school and township board. She agreed to continue until a replacement can be found. She and her husband, Brian, also farm near Watertown.

Bruce Zeidler of Eagle Bend was re-elected to his 22nd year as state treasurer. Zeidler and his wife, Cindy, have four children and operate a dairy and crop farm.

John Zschetzsche of Mountain Lake was re-appointed public relations director and editor of the Upper Midwest Newsletter.

Other state board members are Mark Rohr of Bluffton, a national director and dairy department employee; Reed Christensen, Battle Lake, a national director; Doug Suhr of Kasson, first district president; Jen Minten, Perham, seventh district president; and Steve Koering, Fort Ripley, eighth district president.

Trustees on the board are Bob Arndt, Echo; Don Koep, Clitherall; and Mark Bauman of Delano.

Ivanhoe farmer attends National Biodiesel Conference

Twenty-two soybean farmers, fuel distributors and mechanics from across Minnesota are attending the National Biodiesel Conference on behalf of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) See For Yourself program.

Tim Jerzak, a soybean farmer from Ivanhoe, and Ryan Girard and Dustin Kesteloot, Lyon County mechanics, are attending the conference from Jan. 20-24 in San Diego, Calif.

Minnesota has taken a bold stance on the use of biodiesel in today’s fuel products, according to a news release from the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. In 2002 Minnesota became the first state to mandate a 2 percent biodiesel blend in diesel fuel across the state. This has now continued to increase to the current mandate of a 20 percent biodiesel blend during the summer months and a 5 percent blend during the winter months. In order to continually grow markets and promote soybeans, the soybean checkoff invests money in research to find new uses of soybeans that ultimately help farmers’ bottom lines.

MSR&PC also understands the value of showing farmers how their checkoff dollars are invested. The See For Yourself program allows Minnesota soybean farmers to see firsthand where checkoff dollars are invested and discover how MSR&PC is making a difference with these new uses to create profitable markets.

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is the elected board of soybean producers from Minnesota who direct investments of the state’s checkoff dollars in programs designed to increase profitability to Minnesota soybean farmers.

The See For Yourself program is a chance for soybean farmers to see firsthand where soybean checkoff dollars are being invested overseas. Participants will see how the money is invested and how MSR&PC is making a difference with overseas customers to create profitable markets.