Farmfest Forums to Focus on Key Ag Issues

Newsroom / July 29, 2019

IDEAg Minnesota Farmfest, slated for Aug. 6-8 at Gilfillan Estate in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, will feature a multitude of forums on key ag policy issues including trade, the farm economy and pandemic livestock diseases.

“We are pleased to highlight the most prominent issues facing rural America at this year’s Farmfest, issues that affect our community on and off the farm,” said Kent Thiesse, forum coordinator for Farmfest.

Farmfest has been bringing the Midwest’s top farmers together with key influencers in public policy, including legislators, for more than 30 years and this year’s show is no exception.

Forum highlights include a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Aug. 6, on various important ag policy issues with many prominent agricultural leaders, including American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and National Farmers Union Senior Vice President Rob Larew. Topics include the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, implementation of the new farm bill, disaster aid payments and more.

Later that day, Farmfest attendees will have the opportunity to hear from several state government officials regarding rural Minnesota and agriculture.

Wrapping up Tuesday’s forum programming is a discussion between Zach Johnson and Mitchell Hora, hosts of the popular “Field Work” podcast. Johnson and Hora will be interviewing their fathers to showcase generational differences and attitudes about sustainable farming during a session titled “Generational Perspectives on Sustainable Agriculture.”

Highlights on Wednesday, Aug. 7, include a listening session on the farm economy, hosted by U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will attend the listening session, in addition to members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation.

Finally, on Thursday, Aug. 8, Farmfest forum programming wraps up with a special presentation by farmer and award-winning motivational speaker Jolene Brown. The presentation, titled “Who’s Hiding the Humor?” will focus on dealing with the ongoing challenges and stresses farm families are facing.

An overview of Farmfest forum scheduling is below (all times are Central). More information on each forum event can be found here.

Tuesday, August 6

9 a.m., “Trade Matters…An Update on Global Trade Agreements” with Chris Pothen, CHS vice president of global grain marketing
10:30 a.m., “Ag Policy Discussion with National Ag Leaders” panel discussion
1:10 p.m., Keynote address by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz
1:15 p.m., “The State of Rural Minnesota and the Agriculture Industry” panel discussion
3:00 p.m., “Generational Perspectives on Sustainable Agriculture” with Zach Johnson and Mitchell Hora

Wednesday, August 7

9 a.m., “Grain and Livestock Market Update” panel discussion
10:30 a.m., “U.S. House Ag Committee Listening Session on the Farm Economy” hosted by U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
1:15 p.m., “Battling African Swine Fever and Other Pandemic Livestock Diseases” panel discussion
3 p.m., “Changing Hands…Farm and Ranch Succession Planning” with Chad Lea, Farm Bureau Financial Services

Thursday, August 8

9 a.m., “Farm Transition, Estate and Business Planning…It’s a Journey” with Andrew Zenk, consultant with AgCountry Farm Credit Services
10 a.m., “Who’s Hiding the Humor?” with Jolene Brown, farmer and award-winning motivational speaker
1:10 p.m., Keynote Address by Joan Gabel, president, University of Minnesota
1:15 p.m., “Farm Family of the Year” Recognition Program

Niki Jones
Marketing Manager
(816) 863 3974
Cyndie Shearing
Director, Internal Communications
Office (202) 406-3649

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