Farm Fest 2013 to kick off Tuesday

The 32nd annual Farm Fest will celebrate its 20th year on the Gilfillan Estate outside of Redwood Falls with a new home for the Farm Forum panel discussions.

“Wick Buildings LLC built this beautiful building that’s taken the place of the forum tent,” said Samantha Kaplan, marketing director for IDEAg group. “We’ll have a ribbon- cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.”

On Tuesday, the 10:30 a.m. panel discussion will address the farm bill currently stalled in Congress. Other topics will include renewable energy policies, managed drainage systems, livestock production and animal activists, irrigation regulations and permitting, viewing the ag industry from a media perspective and future opportunities in Minnesota agriculture.

“Both the House and the Senate passed the farm bill, but they’re vastly different,” said Kent Thiesse, Farm Fest forum coordinator. “They’ve been working on it for two years now, and they aren’t a lot closer to reaching an end point.”

The panel will be made up of 7th District Congressman Collin Peterson, ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee; 1st District Congressman Tim Walz, U.S. House Ag Committee member; Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union President; Dale Moore, public policy director for American Farm Bureau and Bob Worth, vice president of the American Soybean Association.

“We’ll also have panels on renewable energy,” Thiesse said. “Renewable energy includes ethanol and biodiesel but also wind, solar and biomass. The future of renewable energy depends on policy, and the forum will be about where we’re heading with renewable energy policies, both state and federal, for the future.”

U.S. Sen. Al Franken will be on hand for “The Future Direction of Renewable Energy Policy” panel discussion. That panel will also include Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson and Doug Berven, POET vice president of corporate affairs.

The keynote address of this year’s Farm Fest will be given by Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday. The Farm Family of the Year recognition program is 1:30 p.m. Thursday.



9-10 a.m. “What’s Ahead for Grain Markets and Ag Weather?” panel discussion

10-10:20 a.m. Uncle Roy and the Boys

10:20-10:30 a.m. Comments by Debra Crusoe, state director, USDA Farm Service Agency

10:30-11:50 a.m. “Reaching an Endpoint on a New Farm Bill”

Noon-1 p.m. Linder Farm Network Noontime Ag Jamboree

1:15-2:45 p.m. “The Future Direction of Renewable Energy Policy” panel discussion

2:45-3 p.m. “Drainage Systems” panel discussion


8-10 a.m. Minnesota Farm Bureau Breakfast

9 a.m. Mark Schultz, marketing analyst, Northstar Commodities

10-10:30 a.m. Uncle Roy and the Boys

10:30-11:50 a.m. “Viewing the Agriculture Industry from a Media Perspective” panel discussion

Noon-1 p.m. Linder Farm Network Noontime Ag Jamboree

1:15-2:45 p.m. “How We Raise Our Livestock Who Should Decide?” panel discussion

2:45-3 p.m. “The New Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program “

3-4 p.m. “Understanding Irrigation Regulations and Permitting” panel discussion


9-9:45 a.m. “Tools of the Trade”

9:45-10:15 a.m. and throughout the day: Uncle Roy and the Boys

10:15-10:30 a.m. Keynote address by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton

10:30-11:50 a.m. “Future Opportunities in the Minnesota Agriculture Industry”

Noon-1 p.m. Linder Farm Network Noontime Ag Jamboree, featuring Lynn Ketelsen of Linder Farm Network

1 p.m. Watermelon feed Sponsored by Minnesota Farmers Union

1:30-3 p.m. Farm Family of the Year recognition program