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Farmer Forum Includes Discussion On Farmer-Led Watershed CouncilsFarmer Forum Includes Discussion On Farmer-Led Watershed Councils

Farmamerica near Waseca is the site for this free March 26 meeting. Registration deadline is March 17.

March 11, 2014

3 Min Read
Farmer Forum Includes Discussion On Farmer-Led Watershed Councils

Setting up farmer-led councils to make decisions about water quality will be one of several topics at the Waseca County Farmer Forum Wednesday, March 26.

The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m., at Farmamerica, Waseca.

Julia Olmstead, project coordinator for University of Wisconsin Extension, will speak on how Wisconsin set up its farmer-led councils for watersheds. Minnesota is taking similar action with a farmer-led council in the Whitewater River watershed leading the way.

Other topics include stewardship opportunities in southern Minnesota, and integrated drainage and wetland landscape systems.

The agenda is as follows:
8:30 a.m. Registration and Consultations with Resource Personnel – coffee and rolls

Russell Guse, Waseca County Ditch Inspector ~ Ditch Redeterminations
Jonathan Graves, Waseca County GIS Coordinator ~ Views of land from Waseca County GIS Data
Justin Gode, Roundbank ~ Agricultural Best Management Practices Loan Program

 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Opening Remarks: Stewardship Opportunities for Southern Minnesota
Moderator: Gyles Randall, Soil Scientist and Professor, Retired, U of M Southern Research and Outreach Center

9:30 a.m. Focus on Feedlots: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and Biosecurity
Beth Thompson, Senior Veterinarian, MN Board of Animal Health
Terry Sistad, Agriculture Advisor, MN Board of Animal Health

A summary of the current issues relating to biosecurity and PEDV will be discussed as well as current thinking on composting and dead box construction will be examined.

10:30 a.m. Farmer-Led Watershed Councils
Julia Olmstead, Project Coordinator, University of Wisconsin Extension

Discussion about why the State of Wisconsin decided to try handing over some decision-making around water quality issues to farmers. She'll talk about what it took to get the project launched, what's happened so far, and where the farmers and project partners hope to go.

11:30 a.m. Integrated Drainage & Wetland Landscape Systems – Challenges & Opportunities
Shawn Richmond, Iowa CREP Program Coordinator

Overview of a pilot program in Iowa that seeks to establish a market driven approach for integrating water quality wetlands into drainage infrastructure modernization to achieve both increased environmental and agronomic outcomes.

12:30 p.m. Lunch - broasted chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas, Jello salad, dinner roll, beverage

1:00 p.m. Ethanol: Prospective on the Industry and Its Future Nationally and Here in Waseca County
Randall J. Doyal, CEO and Chairman of Al-Corn Clean Fuel and Chairman of Guardian Energy and the Renewable Products Marketing Group

A timely discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the ethanol industry and the impact on the local and national economy.

1:45 p.m. How Organics and Non-GMO (genetically modified organism) Products Contribute to Agriculture in Minnesota
Chad Stannard, SunOpta Grains
Organic and non-gmo agriculture in Minnesota will be examined along with the trends and challenges for the future.

2:15 p.m. Closing Comments
Blair Nelson, Waseca County Board Chairman & Mark Leiferman, Waseca County Planning and Zoning

Registration deadline is Monday, March 17

Mail registration to: Waseca County Planning & Zoning, 300 N State St, Waseca, MN 56093. Or, register by phone, Call Shelley Hyatt at 507-835-0653 (voice mail 24/7). Or send email: [email protected].

The meeting is free and open to the public.

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