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Temple Grandin to Keynote at Agri-Growth Annual Conference

Temple Grandin to Keynote at Agri-Growth Annual Conference

The animal care expert, along with others, will present at the November 16 Agri-Growth Council Annual Conference, "American Agriculture: Raising Food for Thought."

The highlight of the 2011 Minnesota Agri-Growth Council Annual Meeting and Speakers Conference is luncheon keynote speaker Temple Grandin.

Grandin and others will present on November 16 at the Minneapolis Convention Center around the idea of "raising food for thought" in the American agriculture industry. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 80% of America's food is produced domestically. The food and agriculture industry provides wholesome, safe, affordable, and nutritious food, while the food production chain is also is the subject of many trends, choices, dilemmas, and even confusion. Speakers at the conference will address these issues and more.

This event is open to the public. Registration information is available here:

The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. with the annual members meeting and elections (for members and prospective members only). Following the members meeting at 9:40 a.m., Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo, will speak on the outlook of Minnesota's agriculture economy. A special presentation on the Monetary Policy and Food Price Inflation by Jason Henderson, vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will follow.

The luncheon banquet program begins at noon, featuring a welcome from Agri-Growth Council board chairwoman Kristin Weeks Duncanson, Duncanson Growers. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler will also offer remarks. The annual Distinguished Service Award recipient [recipient information is embargoed until day of event] will be announced to the group and short video highlighting the recipient will be aired (see past recipient videos here:

To conclude the luncheon portion of the day, keynote presenter Temple Grandin will speak candidly with Kerri Miller, host on Minnesolate Public Radio. Grandin has authored several books, has been named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people, was profiled in a BBC documentary and most recently was the subject of a self-entitled HBO film. As a person with high functioning autism, she offers a unique perspective on the subject of animal care and processing facilities.

During the afternoon attendees will hear from Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm.

The finale of the afternoon session is a panel presentation focusing on trends in food production and marketing. The panel brings together food and ag leaders from the University of Minnesota's Food Industry Center (Mike Boland, Moderator), Cargill (Dan Dye, Farming for Tomorrow's Consumer), Hormel Foods (Phil Minerich, Marketing to the Savvy Shopper), NuVal (Annette Maggi, Healthy Foods and the Moving Target of Nutrition), and Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. (Scott Sannes, Sustainability from Farm to Fork, an Engineer's perspective).

To register for the annual meeting, visit  Interested individuals can also call 651.905.8900 or email

Registration is $30 for public officials, $75 for students, $120 for Agri-Growth members, $140 for nonmembers.

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