Farmfest 2019 features hemp experts, demo plot

GILFILLAN ESTATE — Three hemp varieties, one fiber and two grain, are growing on 7,200 square feet of land at Gilfillan Estate in preparation for Farmfest 2019 Aug. 6-8.

“We are excited for farmers to come to Farmfest to learn about hemp production,” said IDEAg Group Event Sales Director John Hendel. “Attendees will learn how to plant and nurture different crop varieties, in addition to harvested crop uses. We understand the enormous interest and curiosity around this new crop.”

The demo area will include potted cannabidiol plants for attendees to examine. Hemp experts Matt Little and Garth Carlson of Midwest Hemp Farms; Charlie Levine of Hemp Acres; John Strohfus of Minnesota Hemp Farms Inc.; and Bryan Parr of Legacy Hemp will meet one-on-one with attendees and answer hemp-growing questions.

“Minnesota is in its fourth year of the hemp pilot program. We continue to get calls from farmers expressing interest and enthusiasm in placing this crop in rotation, but many know very little,” said Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator Margaret Wiatrowski.

Farmfest’s second-annual National Anthem Contest deadline is Friday, July 5. The contest winner will be invited to sing the national anthem at Gate 2, at 8 a.m. Aug. 6 the opening day of Farmfest. The performance will livestream on Farmfest social media pages. The winner receives free Farmfest entry and free entry for up to three guests.

Singers can apply by downloading a YouTube video of the applicant singing the national anthem at ideagroup.com/farm fest/news/national-anthem-contest. Parental consent is required for applicants under age 18.

Events in the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center begin at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 6 with a policy roundtable discussion with national agricultural leaders. A free Minnesota Corn Growers Sweet Corn Feed begins at 11:45 a.m. The daily Linder Farm Network Noon Show with free ice cream treats begins at noon. The state of the Minnesota agriculture industry discussion begins at 1:15 p.m.

At 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 7, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation sponsors a free pancake breakfast to the first 1,000 people. A grain and livestock market update follows at 9 a.m.

A U.S. House of Representatives Agricultural Committee listening session on the farm economy begins at 10:30 a.m.

Following the Linder Farm Network Noon Show, a kid’s tractor pedal pull begins at 1 p.m. in the northeast corner of the show grounds.

A discussion on potential pandemic livestock diseases in the U.S. begins at 1:15 p.m.

On Thursday, Aug. 8, a program on succession and retirement planning sponsored by AgCountry Farm Credit Services begins at 9 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., speaker, author, family business consultant and farmer Jolene Brown will talk.

The University of Minnesota will recognize Minnesota Farm Families of the Year for their ag industry contributions at 1:15 p.m.

Minnesota Farmfest will feature about 500 companies showing the latest ag innovations in the upper Midwest. The show opens from 8 a.m. to 5 pm.. Tuesday, Aug 6 & 7 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8.