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Ag and Extension Briefs

Olson re-elected to Minnesota Farm Bureau board of directors

Carolyn Olson of Cottonwood in Lyon County was re-elected to a three-year term on the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) board of directors to represent District III during the 102nd annual meeting on Dec. 11. District III includes the counties of Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock and Yellow Medicine.

Re-elected to serve a two-year term as MFBF vice president was Dan Glessing of Wright County. Also re-elected to a three-year term was Nathan Collins from Murdock in Swift County representing District IV and Shayne Isane of Badger in Northwest Regional representing District VII. Elected to the board of directors serving one-year terms were Promotion & Education Committee chair DiDi Edwards from Nobles County and Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee chair Tyler Nelson from Pine County.

Minnesota Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state, focusing on Farmers •Families • Food. Members determine policy through a grassroots process involving the Farm Bureau members in 78 county Farm Bureau units in a formal, democratic process. Through this process, members make their views heard to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for Young Farmers & Ranchers help develop leadership abilities and improve farm management. Promotion & Education committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for farm children. Farm Bureau is active in a variety of other programs and activities. For more information, contact your county Farm Bureau office.

Women in Ag Network sixth annual conference on Feb. 3

“Building Bridges, Cultivating Connections,” the sixth annual Women in Ag Network Conference will be held virtually on Feb. 3. Even though the conference will be virtual, the event will be a day of learning and networking for women involved in agriculture. The conference will be from 9 a.m. -3:45 p.m.

Michele Payn, CSP, will be the keynote speaker, with her presentation titled “Celebrating Agriculture.” Payn connects the people and science of food and farming as principal of Cause Matters Corp. She is known for being a community catalyst, a passionate advocate for global agriculture — and antagonizing people into action.

Breakout sessions will feature three diverse tracks for attendees to choose from, Bridging the Gap with Social Media, Cultivating Management Best Practices, and Connecting Farmers and Consumers through Marketing. The day will end with a panel discussion, “Direct Marketing: Taking it to the Next Level,” which will feature women who have taken marketing of their agriculture ventures to a completely new level.

Pre-registration is required to obtain the virtual link to the conference, as well as conference materials. To register visit z.umn.edu/WAGN2021ConferenceReg. Registration is $35, with a special rate of $15 for students. All who register by Jan. 18 will receive a participant packet, and the first 50 registrations will receive Michele Payn’s “Food Bullying: How to Avoid Buying BS” book. Registration refunds are available for cancellations through Jan. 18, with a $10 service charge applied. After Jan. 18, there will be no refunds.

The Women in Ag Network is a collaboration between University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota’s Farm Service Agency. For more information, please visit z.umn.edu/WAGNConference21. Contact Sarah Schieck Boelke (schi0466@umn.edu ext. 2004) or Amber Roberts (AmberR@umn.edu or 218-236-2009).

Maine looks to boost mental health resources for farmers

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s agriculture department is adding new resources about mental health for farmers and foresters in the state.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said it has added a mental health resources page to its website. The page includes information about noticing signs of stress and tools for managing stress.

The creation of the website follows a move by the agriculture department to work with the Maine Farm Bureau on a mental health mailer about recognizing warning signs.

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