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Farmers get together at Gilfillan Estate this week for Farmfest | News, Sports, Jobs

File photo Sadie Thorson, 4, of Lafayette, competes in the pedal pull at the 2021 Farmfest at Gilfillan Estate, west of Morgan on State Highway 67.

GILFILLAN ESTATE — Farmfest, a place for farmers to network, experience and learn to grow their farming operations opens at 8 am Tuesday and continues to 4 pm Thursday, Aug. 2-4, at Gilfillan Estate, on State Highway 67 between Redwood Falls and Morgan.

More than 500 exhibitors and vendors will showcase products, services and technologies on 50 acres of land.

The Linder Farm Network noon shows feature ice cream socials Tuesday and Wednesday in the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center. A free sweet corn feed follows at 1 pm Tuesday. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Pancake Breakfast begins at 8 am Wednesday.

Kent Beadle, CHS Hedging director, will lead a discussion at 8:30 am Tuesday on how inflation, war, policy shifts and other macro-economic changes are impacting the ag supply chain now, and what they will do in the future.

A 1st Congressional District candidate forum with Brad Finstad, R-New Ulm; former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger, D-Austin; and Richard Reisdorf of Mankato and Legal Marijuana Now begins at 9:30 am Tuesday.

A congressional candidate forum on ag and rural issues begins at 10:30 am Tuesday. Panelists include incumbent members of Congress Angie Craig, Michelle Fischbach, Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, plus challengers Tyler Kistner, Paula Overby, Jeanne Hendricks, Jill Abahsain, Travis “Bull” Johnson and Jen Schultz.

National and state ag leaders will discuss issues they feel necessary in the next farm bill at 1:15 pm A farm and ranch succession planning session follows at 2:45 pm

The ag outlook forum begins at 8:30 am Wednesday.

The Minnesota gubernatorial candidate forum with Gov. Tim Walz and Dr. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, will be held Wednesday.

A discussion on federal ag programs and to leverage them begins at 1:15 pm Wednesday. A farm transition planning discussion begins at 2:45 pm

Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, will share her journey to social media stardom and inspire others to fight misinformed activists and discuss tough topics, including modern farming success, at 10:45 am

The 2022 Farmfest Woman of the Year will be named next. Finalists are Kristin Reiman, Princeton; Emily Ponwith, Cleveland; Nancy Hinricher, Pipestone; Dawn Breitkreutz, Redwood Falls; and Karen Kasper, Owatonna.

University of Minnesota County Farm Families of the Year will be recognized at 1 pm

Kid’s pedal pulls begin at 1 pm daily near Gate 2 at the south end of the grounds.

Ride and drive demonstrations include Ziegler Ag Equipment at the north end of the show grounds. CAN-AM hosts a ride and drive event near Gate 3. ABC Drone will fly its latest drone models above seed road and near Gate 3.

The Sustainable Farming Association (SFA), Minnesota Soil Health Coalition, Forever Green Initiative, and Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program are partnering to host a Soil Health Tent at Farmfest, held August 2 to 4 in Redwood County.

“SFA is pleased to join with other soil health advocates and educators at one of our nation’s largest agricultural trade shows”said Lucinda Winter, SFA’s executive director.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the relationship between soil health and human health,” she added. “We’ll demonstrate how easy it is to determine the health of your soil, and to show off some of the up-and-coming perennial crops being developed at the University of Minnesota that have the potential to improve soil health, sequester carbon and diversify farm income.”

The Soil Health tent will host a rainfall simulator and slake test demonstrations. A roller crimper and no-till drill will be on display.

Demonstration crop plots include the burgeoning perennial grain Kernza, cereal rye that has been rolled/crimped, cover crops, small grains, wide row corn, and Rhyzogreen.

Soil health experts, farm mentors, and other staff from all four organizations will be on hand to answer questions about implementation, equipment modification, availability of seed, market development and more.

In addition, tent visitors can enjoy the shade, Kernza snacks, children’s activities, and a chance to enter drawings for free registration to upcoming SFA and MN Soil Health Coalition conferences.

“Water and soil are natural resources that we cannot take for granted. We all want to leave it in the best possible condition for the next generation. The food we eat depends on healthy soil,” said Mark Gutierrez, Executive Director of the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition. “Through education and exposure to these topics, farmers can begin to collaborate and creatively plan for improving water and soil quality.”

Farmfest is held at 28366 County Highway 13 Morgan, MN 56266. Tickets are $8 online and $10 at the gate. Kids 17 and younger are admitted for free. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.ideaggroup.com/farmfest.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)

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