A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, September 09, 2019
Big Iron Week is Here! The Red River Farm Network invites you to join us at the Big Iron Farm Show this week in West Fargo. RRFN is hosting market outlook forums each afternoon with some of the biggest names in the business. There will be unique topics each morning at 10:30, including updates from the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency. There will also be a land values seminar Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. You can find the complete schedule online. Thanks to all of the RRFN sponsors during Big Iron, including our lead sponsor, Pioneer.
Despite Trade Skirmish, Pork Exports Break Records – U.S. pork exports were record large in July. At more than 233 metric tons, pork exports were up 32 percent from one year ago. Exports to China and Hong Kong reached a record $152.5 million in value. Mexico and Japan were also top buyers for U.S. pork. Beef sales were steady with the strong results seen one year ago. Export volumes were up one percent from a year ago, but value was down slightly.
USMEF Delegation Visits Japan – A U.S. Meat Export Federation delegation traveled through Japan and Sendai this past week. USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom told reporters Japan is eager to make progress in the agreement in principle with the U.S. “We are operating at a disadvantage at the moment in trade with the country compared to key competitors like Australia, Canada and Mexico,” said Halstrom. “We’re happy to say the trade is enthusiastic about the prospect of getting on a level playing field sooner rather than later. The timing of our trip, in that regard, was perfect.” Halstrom didn’t have a timeline for the completion of the U.S. and Japan agreement. Minnesota Pork Board CEO David Preisler also traveled with the USMEF. He said there’s been discussions on African swine fever. “We talked about where demand may come from and supplies,” said Preisler. “We also had discussions about what we’re doing to keep the virus out of the U.S. so we can maintain the status of being a reliable supplier.”
Promoting U.S. Beef in Japan – The North Dakota Beef Commission had two representatives in Tokyo for the U.S. Meat Export Federation trade trip. Mark Voll, who ranches in western North Dakota, says the Japanese consumers are looking for non-traditional beef cuts. “A beef tongue in the Japanese market is worth $12 right now,” said Voll. “These cuts that we don’t consume in the U.S. brings additional value to the carcass.” Washburn rancher Clark Price says USMEF is also trying to introduce American flavors to the Japanese consumer. “The Japanese consumer doesn’t have room for a grill on their deck so there are places, like Weber Park in Tokyo where they can rent this grill for the afternoon and put the steak on their grill.” In addition to meetings with importers, the U.S. delegation was also been briefed by the U.S. embassy.
Minnesota Beef Update – The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association is pleased with the announcement of an agreement, in principle, between the U.S. and Japan. Learn more from MSCA Executive Director Ashley Kohls in the latest Minnesota Beef Update.
Relationships Are Vital for Trade – President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council Tom Vilsack is back in the U.S. following a trip to China and Japan earlier this month. Vilsack says it’s important both governments and industry professionals understand the value of the relationship between countries. There’s still uncertainty in discussions between the U.S. and China. “There’s a hope things will get worked out, but the reality is what the U.S. is asking China to change is something that’s fundamental to their economy,” says Vilsack. “That’s not going to be an easy ask or lift for the Chinese. I’m not confident at this point we’ll see a breakthrough in the discussions.” Vilsack says there’s a different attitude in China compared to Japan. He says Japan is acting as an ally, and there may be a better opportunity in Japan to reach a mini agreement to provide greater market access for U.S. agricultural products. Listen to the story.
Johnson: U.S. in Long-Term Funk with China – The U.S. and China will continue trade negotiations next month. In the meantime, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the U.S. is in a long-term funk with China. “As a country, we’re asking China to change their form of government and their intersection of business. It’s a state controlled economy and it may be a challenge.” Johnson says China needs to be held accountable for its actions, but the U.S. is making a mistake by taking on China alone. “After ostracizing many of our allies around the world, I think that makes this more difficult. I’m glad they are talking, but I’m not hopeful they’ll come to an agreement soon.” Trade is one policy focus as National Farmers Union members meet in Washington D.C. this week for the fall fly-in.
NFU Members Meeting With USDA – National Farmers Union members are meeting with USDA officials today. That’s part of this week’s fly-in. North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne says farmers still have questions about the Market Facilitation Program. “There was, I think, a miscalculation on those payments, leaving out canola and sunflowers.” Watne also said the current farm program does not have an adequate safety net to handle the market-moving programs that come from the Administration.
Ag Awaits Ethanol Announcement – President Donald Trump reportedly met with farm leaders Friday afternoon to discuss his biofuels proposal. Reuters is saying this proposal would increase the biofuel requirements for 2020. While few details are available, the agriculture industry is saying the plan does not go far enough and the oil industry claims it goes too far. It is not known when the Administration will make this ethanol announcement.
Walz, Noem Offer Input to Administration on Small Refinery Waivers – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have sent a joint-letter to President Donald Trump, offering input on ethanol and the small refinery waivers. Trump has said he will soon release a package of ethanol initiatives to reduce the impact of the recent refinery waivers. Walz and Noem are urging the Administration to increase the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2020 to offset the lost biofuels production. The governors are also calling for an infrastructure program to provide more consumer access to biofuels. Walz and Noem are the chair and vice chair of the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition.
Permitting Process Has Begun for Epitome Energy Facility – Farmers, agriculture organizations and community members gathered in Crookston, Minnesota yesterday to learn more about a proposed project that seeks to bring economic value to Polk County. Epitome Energy has plans to build a soybean crush and biodiesel production facility. In front of a packed room, Epitome Energy CEO and President Dennis Egan announced the permitting process has begun for the facility. “The permitting process should take 10 to 12 months and are trying to hit deadlines for fall of 2020.” The other big piece of news was regarding the size of the facility. “We’re going from a 21 million to 42 million bushel facility, doubling the size of the crush. The financial modeling is still being worked through.” Listen to the story.
MDA Working with Epitome Energy in the Permitting Process – During the 2019 Minnesota legislative session, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture secured $5 million in funding to help with Epitome Energy’s Soy Innovation Campus permitting process. While Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen acknowledges the permitting process can take a while, the department is trying to deliver government better. “We’re excited about this project and it is a top priority for Minnesota agriculture. State agencies are working together through a program called Business First Stop,” says Petersen. “A project like this has to work with several agencies. So, there is one person that deals with projects like this to make sure everyone is coordinating and talking with each other.
Quiet Grain Markets Ahead of this Month’s USDA Report – Money Farm market analyst Luke Swenson expects the grain market to be quiet ahead of the USDA report on September 12. “We aren’t expecting much in the way of change on yields. News wise and fundamentally, they don’t need to change their models. They assume the crop will make it. They have their assessment of yield and nothing has changed since last month.” Swenson says USDA could adjust ethanol demand in the report, but he does not expect planted acreage to change. “The expectation is 8.5 percent abandonment. It’s not feasible when we’re at $3.60 futures. There’s a lot of corn that shouldn’t be making it.” Swenson will join the Red River Farm Network during the Big Iron Farm Show on Thursday, September 12.
Market Analysts Looking Forward to September USDA Report – Market analysts are looking forward to this week’s USDA report. Stewart-Peterson Senior Market Advisor Naomi Blohm says analysts are looking for differences in yield numbers from the August report. “Will there be a difference in harvested acres? We’re also going to watch demand.” The report will be released at 11 a.m. central on Thursday. Blohm will be part of the Red River Farm Network’s market outlook seminar at the Big Iron Farm Show following the report.
Allendale Projects Smaller U.S. Crop – Ahead of next week’s USDA report, Allendale is projecting the U.S. corn crop at 13.75 billion bushels, with a yield of 167.7 bushels/acre. Their soybean crop estimate is 3.49 billion bushels, with a 46 bushel/acre yield. That’s below USDA’s August crop forecast. According to Allendale’s producer survey, there will be a lower corn yield for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota compared to the USDA estimate, with a range of 141 to 169 bushels an acre. The estimate for the South Dakota soybean crop is significantly lower than the USDA forecast. Allendale is estimating the crop at 37 bushels an acre compared to 45 bushels an acre from USDA. The Minnesota and North Dakota soybean yields are projected at 44 and 36 bushels an acre.
Lower Spring Wheat Yields This Year in North Dakota – The North Dakota spring wheat harvest is just over halfway complete. North Dakota Wheat Commission Market Development and Research Manager Erica Olson says a combination of late planting and uncooperative weather is delaying progress. “I don’t have a solid number in terms of yield, but most farmers are calling the crop average. Some are seeing yields below expectations,” says Olson. “Overall, yields are not as high compared to the past couple years. “A majority of the protein reports are 14 percent or higher. However, like with yield, here are pockets of lower numbers. “We’ve even heard down in that 12 to 12.5 percent range.” Listen to the interview with Olson.
MN Corn Matters – While walking the aisles at the Big Iron Farm Show, be sure to learn about the sustainable future of corn. Learn more from Minnesota Corn Growers Association District Field manager Nicole Frank in this edition of Corn Matters.
A Slow Spring Wheat Harvest Near Regent, ND – Spring wheat harvest is moving slow for farmers in southwest North Dakota. at Regent, there’s wet wheat in fields. “Our wheat looks alright, though others are having quality issues,” says farmer Josh Greff. “With one week of rain ahead, farmers are trying to get the wheat harvested. We had one field with some ergot, but it was a smaller field. I have heard of bad falling numbers from other farmers.” It’s rare for wheat harvest to last this long. “We had a lot of late rains. Suckers are popping up in the fields,” says Greff. “Those suckers are little wheat that comes up later, but they don’t ripen. It sounds like everyone is having issues with that.”
Average to Below Average Wheat Near Jamestown – Based in Stutsman County, NDSU Extension agent Alicia Harstad says there is still a little spring wheat left to harvest in the Jamestown, North Dakota area. “For the most part, we’re more than three-quarters done with wheat harvest. Some farmers are disappointed with the average to below average yields,” she says. “We’re also struggling with quality. That’s a theme with wheat harvest.” Harstad expects the wheat quality to continue to deteriorate the longer the wheat is in the field. “It seems like later harvested wheat has issues with falling numbers and vomitoxin. Even the later stuff may have worse falling numbers.”
Falling Numbers Continue to Fall – It’s been a wet end to summer and temperatures are remaining unseasonably cool. This combination has put spring wheat harvest behind the average pace. For some of the wheat, rain over Labor Day weekend meant, yet again, another harvest delay. Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers Executive Director Charlie Vogel says another heavy rain on the wheat is dropping already low falling numbers. “Get your wheat tested by the field, know what your falling numbers are and keep it separate,” says Vogel. “I’ve been hearing falling numbers in the 80s, and there is a formula for that with insurance.”
Rural Perspectives – Uncooperative harvest weather is causing quality issues in spring wheat. Based at Ada, Minnesota, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Senior Crop Insurance Specialist Ginger Harris encourages farmers with falling number issues to do their research and contact their crop insurance agent. There are also crop insurance guidelines for other quality concerns, such as vomitoxin and scab damage. Hear from Harris in this edition of Rural Perspectives, made possible by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Hellevang Publishes Tips for Drying Wheat – Wheat can be dried without supplemental heat, as long as there’s enough air flow. That’s according to a new publication written by NDSU Extension agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang. “The moisture holding capacity of the air is related to the temperature,” says Hellevang. “As we shift from August to September, we may be looking at 30 percent longer fan time to dry the grain.” High temperature drying must be done carefully to avoid damaging the milling quality of the wheat. “The general recommendations are based on a cross flow drier at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 16 percent moisture,” says Hellevang. “If we’re at 17 to 18 percent moisture, that temperature needs to be reduced to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It will lengthen the drying time. If we go hotter than that we start damaging the milling quality.” Read more tips.
A Reactive Preharvest – Depending on conditions, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative expects to begin the main harvest around October 1. The pre-pile has been underway since August 19. Vice President of Agriculture Mike Metzger says it has been a very reactive preharvest. “We had a schedule laid out that would make the Queen of England blush; it was just that perfect,” said Metzger. “One rain and everything changed and it has been a reactive game since.” Moving forward, Metzger hopes Mother Nature will cooperate. “What we would really like to see is to have the faucet shut off.”
Potato Harvest Begins Near Karlstad, MN – Cool temperatures are allowing a good start for seed potato harvest in the Karlstad, Minnesota area. Justin Dagen says harvest is starting one week earlier than normal. “We’re on our third year of below average precipitation, but we’ve had timely rains throughout the season to give us good crops. The potatoes look average with good quality.”
Grain Elevators Prepare for a Challenging Crop – North Dakota Grain Dealers Association Executive Vice-President Stu Letcher says when it comes time to harvest corn, quality could challenge grain elevators and available markets. “Crop uncertainty is the biggest concern.” Even if the corn makes it across the finish line, Letcher says elevators will be wary of light test weights. This challenges what can be done with the crop. Letcher says drying high moisture corn can also impact foreign material and potentially damage the crop through handling. “Elevators are also trying to determine how much propane they’ll need. They may need a lot or if something happens with the crop, we may not need much propane. It remains to be seen at this time.”
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Tommy Grisafi from Advance Trading highlights the quality concerns in the spring wheat crop, the outside markets and interest rates.
Concerns with Crop Maturity – With continued cool and wet weather across the Northern Plains, there is growing concern with the corn and soybean crops. In the Cooperstown, North Dakota area, Ag Advantage Consulting owner Jonathan Erickson says while the row crops have potential, they are indeed behind. “The top cluster is there on the soybeans, but the longer maturing varieties need more time,” says Erickson. “There are fields where the white mold is really ravaging the stand, which could bring out lower bushels.” Listen to the story.
Will the Corn Make It? – Is the corn going to make it? That’s one question Rock and Roll Agronomy owner Jason Hanson posed to farmers at the Peterson Farms Seed field day agronomy clinic. His short answer was the crops need heat. “The last half of August and first part of September, we haven’t had much. We still have canola, wheat and barley in fields. The weather is also terrible for desiccating soybeans,” says Hanson. Farmers also expressed challenges with Goss’s wilt in corn, white mold in soybeans and thistle caterpillars. Crop Tech Consulting owner Ken Ferrie is surprised about how heavy Goss’s wilt is in North Dakota. “A lot of fields are dealing with Goss’s wilt and anthracnose. It’s a tough one to deal with,” says Ferrie. “We’re also dealing with it in Illinois. It’s a situation that’s a little puzzling, from hardly being noticed for the last three years to seeing it in fields.”
Sunflowers Should Make it the Finish Line – Crop maturity remains a concern for corn and soybeans. Crookston farmer Kevin Capistran does not have those same worries for his sunflower crop. “Sunflowers don’t frost off at 32 degrees and it seems like we’re not that far from the finish line,” said Capistran. “We may not get them as dry as we want, but we should see a good crop.” Capistran expects the sunflower crop will deal with Phomopsis before harvest, but it won’t happen early enough to influence yield or quality. Going into winter, Capistran says the current challenges with the wheat crop could result in new priorities for variety selection. “Minnesota has always rated varieties based on sprout tolerance and I don’t know if it got a lot of attention in the past; I think that there’s going to be more focus on that.” Due to sawfly problems this season, Capistran is already taking orders for semi-solid stem varieties for next year.
Dry Bean Scene – Despite a late start to planting and a stretch of dry weather, Michigan Dry Bean Commission Executive Director Joe Cramer says the dry bean crop has developed surprisingly well this growing season. Get the details in the Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, UPL, FMC, Central Valley Bean Co-op, SRS Commodities and Johnstown Bean Company.
ND Farmers Markets and Growers Association Update – Potatoes grown in the Red River Valley are transformed into homemade lefse. Hear from Charlotte Landsem of Edmore, North Dakota in the latest North Dakota Farmers Markets and Growers Association Update.
Improving Yield was the Focus at PFS Field Day – Peterson Farms Seed hosted their annual grower field day on Thursday. There were several clinics held throughout the day, including an agronomy, minimal till planter settings and plant architecture clinics. Improving yield was the focus of the day. “That’s our whole focus as a company, to help customers raise a bigger crop. We featured new varieties and traits for next year, but it’s also a great opportunity for farmers to connect and gather more information,” says PFS President Carl Peterson. In the planter clinic, University of Nebraska Extension engineer Paul Jasa discussed planter setting adjustments. “Sometimes, tuning up planter settings can make as much difference as a new hybrid,” says Peterson.
Promoting Food Grade Soybeans – Twenty-three Japanese natto soybean buyers spent the past week in Fargo, touring soybean plots and visiting food-grade soybean plants. Natto bean suppliers from North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Arkansas and Ohio also participated in the meetings. Natto is a popular Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.
Advancing Specialty Soybeans and Other Grains – The proposed Soy Innovation Campus at Crookston, Minnesota will help expand specialty soybean production in the region. Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council CEO Tom Slunecka says the council has invested money in breeding programs at the University of Minnesota. “The biggest successes were in creating food-grade soybeans,” he says. “So, specialty grains and advancing the overall value of our grains is what we really need in today’s low economic times.” Slunecka adds the facility will also focus on opportunities for specialty grain production in wheat, canola, hemp and more.
August Ag Economy Barometer Falls – The August Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy barometer reads 124, a 29-point decline from July. The decline is attributed to a farmer’s expectations for current and future economic conditions. In the latest farmer survey, more than two-thirds of respondents say the 2019 Market Facilitation Program will either completely or somewhat relieve their concerns about the tariff impact on farm income. Fifty-eight percent of farmer participants say they expect another MFP payment to be made to U.S. farmers in 2020. The survey is also monitoring a farmer’s sentiment on the U.S. and China trade disputes. In August, 71 percent of farmers surveyed don’t expect a resolution soon. Twenty-five percent of farmers surveyed don’t expect a positive outcome, a slight increase from July. Read the latest findings from the barometer.
Canada Seeks WTO Action – Canada is seeking action from the World Trade Organization to settle a trade dispute with China. Bilateral consultations are being sought to address China’s decision to stop buying Canadian canola. Canada claims China made a political decision based on Canada’s decision to deport a Chinese business executive to the United States.
South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostics Lab – The South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostics Lab had a ribbon cutting event on Friday. Lab director Jane Christopher-Hennings says the facilities are much needed. “We’re currently in a building from 1967 and there was an addition put on in 1993. We had aging infrastructure and equipment needed to be replaced. There was also a need for additional space,” says Hennings. “Now, we will also have an area for bio-safety level three. We can test for higher risk pathogens.” Hennings says the move in won’t happen for another month or two. Producers have access to the lab for all species.
Tyson Plant Could Be Operational By January 2020 – Tyson Foods says its Holcomb, Kansas plant, damaged by fire in August, is expected to be fully operational by January. Tyson Foods CEO Noel White says some beef processing has already resumed in a portion of the plant that was not impacted by the fire.
Alternative Meat Products Launched – With the buzz around the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat brands, more meat substitute products are coming to market. Hormel Foods is launching its line of plant-forward products including a soy-based item that can be used like ground beef. Kellogg is bringing a new alternative-meat brand to market called ‘Incogmeato.’
Lawsuit Filed Against ADM – An energy trading firm has filed a class action lawsuit against Archer Daniels Midland, claiming ADM manipulated the cash ethanol price. AOT Holdings is seeking damages of up to $6.3 million.
Saltro Fungicide Approved – Syngenta has received federal registration for its Saltro fungicide seed treatment. Saltro has been formulated to provide protection against Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans without causing stress to the plant. This new product will be available for the 2020 growing season.
New SD Project Feeds Fish Industry – Prairie Aquatech is beginning commercial production at its $45 million plant in Volga, South Dakota. This facility has the capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons of non-GMO soy protein ingredients per year. Aquatech’s trademarked product, which is called ME-PRO, was developed from a South Dakota State University technology project. This alternative feed ingredient is designed for the aquaculture industry.
SD Corn Comments – South Dakota farmers and ranchers have been through a lot this year, but nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Get the details in this week’s Corn Comments, a feature from the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
Case IH and New Holland Equipment to Feature New Tool – CNH Industrial is acquiring AgDNA, which is a farm management information company. The CNH Industrial brands, including Case IH and New Holland, will be able to use AgDNA’s data integration, mapping and analytical tools. This initiative will consolidate agronomic information with third party data, including crop prices and weather, into a single platform.
Bayer Launches Mental Health Resources – A new list of resources is bringing mental health awareness to farmers and ranchers in rural communities. Bayer SeedGrowth U.S. Marketing Manager A.J. Hohmann says the “Farm State of Mind” initiative provides a solution to farmers outside of the field. “This year has been a perfect storm to magnify the stressors farmers face on a daily basis,” says Hohmann. One of the most difficult parts is starting the conversation around mental health. “Bayer, nor myself, is not a mental health expert, but the more we talk about mental health in rural communities, the more the negative stigma is removed. We’ve been partnering with different organizations and industry experts to put together resources and advice for managing daily stressors.” Hear more in this interview with Hohmann.
General Mills Promotes Regenerative Agriculture – In a new report, General Mills is outlining four strategies to reduce synthetic pesticide use in its supply chain. Topping that list is a focus on regenerative agriculture, which includes soil health and biodiversity. An expansion of organic crop production and support for pollinator health are advocated. General Mills also hopes to reduce pesticide usage by having farmers implement integrated pest management practices. A program that reduced the use of soil fumigants in sugarbeets from the Red River Valley is cited in the report.
Bee Groups Seek to Overturn EPA Decision on Insecticide Usage – The American Beekeeping Federation and the Pollinator Stewardship Council are challenging a recent court decision, approving the use of the sulfoxaflor insecticide. In July, the EPA ruled sulfoxaflor is safe for people and bees, giving it an unconditional registration. The petitioners claim there is substantial evidence regarding the impact the insecticide has on the environment.
A Court Decision in the Beer Wars – A U.S. district judge has ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using packaging that says Bud Light contains no corn syrup. Anheuser-Busch must drop the claim when its current of packaging runs out or March 2020, whichever comes first.
Singing the Praises of USMCA – The Missouri Farm Bureau is promoting passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in a humorous and unique way. The organization has released a music video with farmers singing to the tune of YMCA to highlight the trade deal. The parody video can be found on Missouri Farm Bureau’s YouTube channel.
engAGe: Building Strong Relationships – CommonGround Minnesota volunteer and farmer Lauren Biegler is a pro at building strong relationships, especially with those who aren’t as familiar with farming. Presented by AgCountry Farm Credit Services, the North Dakota Grain Growers Association and Corteva Agrisciences, engAGe is a series highlighting career successes and leadership in agriculture. Listen to the podcast on the RRFN website, on iTunes or download a podcast app on Google Play.
Wells Fargo Announces Agribusiness Group – Wells Fargo has formed a food, beverage and agribusiness group within its commercial banking division. Jacquie Fredericks will lead the agribusiness division for the central region, which includes Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Fredericks previously worked for CoBank.
Industry Veteran Joins Black Gold Farms Board – Black Gold Farms have announced the appointment of a non-family member to its board of directors. Doug Kling is currently president and CEO of Kling Strategic Partners and has had leadership roles in the consumer products industry. Black Gold Farms is headquartered in Grand Forks and has an extensive network nationwide, growing and marketing Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes.
ND FSA Honors Ihry – The training room at the North Dakota State Farm Service Agency office is being dedicated in the name of former state FSA director Dale Ihry. Ihry worked for the North Dakota FSA from 1985-to-2015. At that time, Ihry took over as the executive director of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association and the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and served in that capacity until his passing this past January. A dedication ceremony will be held Tuesday.
MN Adds Additional Rural Mental Health Specialist – Minnesota has added a second rural mental health specialist. Monica McConkey has worked in the mental health field for the last 25 years, including her most recent experience at Prairie St. Johns. McConkey also operates a consulting business that focuses on the issue emotional stress in agriculture called Eyes on the Horizon. Most recently, McConkey has participated in TransFARMation, a series organized by the Red River Farm Network and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. McConkey will work through AgCentric beginning October 1, serving farmers in the northern half of the state. McConkey will also work collaboratively with the current rural mental specialist Ted Mathews.
Last Week’s Trivia- The 3 R’s of a primary education are reading ‘riting and ‘rithmatic or reading, writing and arithmetic. Edgeley agriculture instructor Anna Kemmer wins our back-to-school trivia question. Nick Sinner of the Northern Crops Institute, Mark Mettler of PreferredOne, retired insurance executive Kent Olson and livestock nutritionist Bruce Trautman earn runner-up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Mark Haugland of Bayer, retired Hanley Falls farmer Roger Dale, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Hilary Paplow of Graff Feedlots, California Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Val Dolcini, retired McVille farmer Mike Naas, Mohall farmer Gene Glessing, Eric Lahlum of Corteva Agriscience, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Cokato farmer Harlan Anderson, Bruce Miller of Minnesota Farmers Union, Evonne Wold of Vigen Construction, Troy Sayler of WestBred Wheat, Lawton farmer Dennis Miller and Carver County feedlot officer Alan Langseth.
This Week’s Trivia- Before taking over as agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue was a governor. Name the state where Perdue served in the governor’s office and send your answer to email@example.com.
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FarmNetNews is a production of the Red River Farm Network. RRFN is based in Grand Forks, North Dakota and provides news to farmers and ranchers across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.