2016 Minnesota Farmfest highlights and schedule

Farm Forum

The 2016 Minnesota Farmfest is set for Aug. 2 – 4. It opens daily at 8:00 a.m.

Admission: $12, Under 18 – Free. Free Parking. Discounted tickets available at

An all new mobile app for up-to-the minute announcements and updates available at


Tuesday: Ag Innovators’ Day including presentations from Minnesota 4H Science of Ag Challenge participants. Congressional Candidates Forum at 10:30 a.m. Free sweet corn feed at 2:15 p.m.

Wednesday: MN Farm Bureau FREE Pancake Breakfast at 8 a.m. Congressional Candidates Forum at 10:30 a.m. Keynote Address from Governor Dayton at 1:15 p.m.

Thursday: MN Soybean FREE mini donuts in conjunction with Post-Harvest Marketing Tips (Featuring my Best Friends) at 9 a.m., Farm Family of the Year Recognition Program, presented by University of Minnesota at 1:15 p.m..

Kids’ pedal pull, sponsored by MN Soybean, is held daily at 1:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, August 3, Orion Samuelson will be joining Linder Farm Network for the noon show.

Aug. 2 – Ag Innovator’s Day

As part of the IDEAg Minnesota Farmfest tradeshow, Ag Innovators’ Day offers an exciting and unique experience to our attendees looking to learn more about the ways they can improve the functions of their production. Through producer-led education, forward-thinking keynote presentations, and the Science of Ag Challenge event, attendees will get a glimpse at the next generation of farming technologies.

9:00 a.m. — Producer FRED Talks. A continuation of the successful FRED Talks (Farmer Rancher Education) presented at the 2016 AFBF Annual Convention, the producer-led FRED Talks will focus on real-world application of innovative technologies and solutions. Three Minnesota producers will present for 15-minutes each on the exciting new things they are doing to push their productions into the next century.

Sara & Mark Hewitt, Kilkenny, MN, “Sweet Cheeks Honey”

10:30 a.m. — Congressional Candidates Forum, 6th, 7th, 8th Congressional District

Moderator: Lynn Ketelsen, Farm Director, Linder Farm Network

Invited Candidates: Congressman Tom Emmer (R – Sixth), Congressman Collin Peterson (D – Seventh), Congressman Rick Nolan (D – Eighth), David Snyder (D – Sixth), Bob Helland (D – Sixth), Patrick Munro (R – Sixth), David Hughes (R – Seventh), Stewart Mills (R – Eighth).

12:00 p.m. — Linder Farm Network Noon Ag Hour. Interviews with FRED Talk producers.

1:00 p.m. — Kids Pedal Pull. Entrance Gate 2. Sponsored by: Minnesota Soybean.

1:15 p.m. — Keynote Presentation: The Food and Agriculture Industry … Transitioning into the Future. Speaker: Steve Peterson, Retired Director of Sourcing Sustainability, General Mills.

2:00 p.m. — Minnesota State Patrol Vehicle Inspections. Nuss Truck Booth #830.

2:15 p.m. — FREE Sweet Corn Feed. Sponsored by Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

2:30 p.m. — Science of Ag Challenge Presentations. Together with the University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota 4-H created the Science of Ag Challenge in 2015 to keep agriculture education vital and relevant while promoting excitement and interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The Science of Ag Challenge brings teams of youth from across the state, along with their adult mentors, together to explore and develop science-based solutions to agriculture-related issues. The teams present their solutions at a state-wide event on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus while competing for college scholarships.

Five teams from the Science of Ag Challenge will come to Farmfest to present their products and solutions in front of the Farmfest audience, members of the press, and the community.

During the presentations be sure to vote for your favorite team in the Viewers’ Choice Award, found in the Farmfest Mobile App. The winners will receive additional scholarship money from IDEAg!

Participating teams:

• Dakota County – InfiniHeat

• Beltrami County – VersaLime

• Scott County – 4-H 2-0

• Le Sueur County – There’s an App for That

• Meeker County – Where’s the Beef?

Ag Innovators’ Day Gold Sponsor: Ag Star Financial

Ag Innovators’ Day Silver Sponsor: Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Aug. 3

8:00 a.m. — Minnesota Farm Bureau Pancake Breakfast. Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation is proud to sponsor this year’s free Pancake Breakfast to the first 1,000 people. Join the local leaders from 78 county and regional Farm Bureaus for a free pancake breakfast and a cup of coffee. Minnesota Farm Bureau: “People sharing ideas, seeing common wisdom, developing solid solutions . . . All in the pursuit of improving the quality of life in a spirit of voluntary cooperation.”

9:00 a.m. — Ag Weather and Grain Marketing Update. Speaker: Mark Schultz, North Star Commodities.

10:00 a.m. — Eric Kaler, University of Minnesota President (TBD).

10:30 a.m. — Congressional Candidates Forum, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Congressional Districts.

Moderator: Mark Dorenkamp, MN Anchor, Brownfield Ag News.

Invited Candidates: Congressman Tim Walz (D – First), Congressman Erik Paulsen (R – Third), Jim Hagedorn (R – First), Angie Craig (D – Second), Jason Lewis (R – Second), Darlene Miller (R – Second), John Howe (R – Second), Matt Erickson (R – Second), Paula Overby (I – Second), Terri Bonoff (D – Third).

12:00 p.m. — Linder Farm Network Noon Ag Hour. Linder Farm Network and The Land are celebrating 40 years of excellence in ag reporting! Join them in the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center at noon for celebratory cupcakes. Lynn Ketelsen will be joined by broadcasting legend, Orion Samuelson, during today’s noon show!

1:00 p.m. — Kid’s Pedal Pull. Entrance Gate 2. Sponsored by: Minnesota Soybean.

1:15 p.m. — Buffers, WOTUS, and Other Water Quality Issues. Keynote Address: Governor Mark Dayton. Moderator: Jerry Groskreutz, KDHL Farm Director. Panel Members: Don Parrish, Senior Policy Analyst, American Farm Bureau; Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union; Paul Torkelson, Minnesota State Legislature; Lawrence Sukalski, Board Member, American Soybean Growers Assn.; Kirby Hettver, Secretary, Minnesota Corn Growers Assn. Warren Formo, Executive Director, MN Ag water Resource Center; Dave Weirens, Assistant Director, MN Board of Water and Soil Resources .

2:00 p.m. — Minnesota State Patrol Vehicle Inspections, Nuss Truck Booth #830.

3:00 p.m. — The USFRA Sustainability Communications Workshop. The Sustainability Communications Workshop will focus on new messaging that can be used when talking with and answering questions from consumers about sustainability. USFRA conducted research to determine the key areas of sustainability that consumers are most concerned about. They include, water, air, soil, and habitat. The workshop will provide tools, including hard copy takeaways, for communicating your message of sustainability in those key areas. Speaker: Randy Krotz, CEO of USFRA.

Aug. 4 – Minnesota Farm Family Day

9:00 a.m. — Post-Harvest Marketing Tips (Featuring My Best Friends). Ed Usset, Grain Marketing Specialist, University of MN. Sponsored by: Minnesota Soybean. Join Minnesota Soybean for mini donuts during the morning session in the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center.

10:30 a.m. — Strategizing to Address Challenging Farm Financial Issues. Moderator: Tom Rothman, University of Minnesota.

Panel Members: Bev Durgan, Dean, University of Minnesota Extension; Bob Craven, Director, U of M Center for Farm Financial Management; David Bau, U of M Extension Farm Management Educator; Pauline Van Nurden, U of M Extension Farm Management Educator.

12:00 p.m. — Linder Farm Network Noon Ag Hour.

1:00 p.m. — Kid’s Pedal Pull. Entrance Gate 2. Sponsored by: Minnesota Soybean.

1:15 p.m. — Farm Family of the Year Recognition Program, Presented by University of Minnesota.

2:00 p.m. — Minnesota State Patrol Vehicle Inspections, Nuss Truck Booth #830.