Feeding Innovation in Greater Minnesota

Blandin Foundation Broadband Initiative

09/12/2019 - 09:00 to 16:00

Broadband-powered technology plays a critical role in spurring the competitiveness Minnesota’s Ag sector and Ag-dependent communities. Learn about how broadband and Ag-technology will affect the future of Minnesota’s agricultural sector, and what our farmers and farming communities are doing to take advantage of these opportunities. 


8:00 am Registration and Refreshments

9:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:30 Keynote Presentation - Thom Petersen, MN Commissioner of Agriculture

10:00 Information as the Foundation for Agriculture - Cody Light, Director of IT/Marketing, AGCO

10:30 Break

10:45 Panel Discussion: Technology Trends on the Farm

Ryan Machenthun – Row Crops (Hutchinson)
Tim Jones – Christensen Farms (Sleepy Eye)
Specialty Crops
11:15 Panel Discussion: New Opportunities for Connected Communities

Lory Young, Gaylord City Administrator – Gaylord medical school and other developments
Valerie Hsu, Stormy Creek Farm (New Ulm)
Dawn Hegland, Upper MN Valley RDC – Region 6W (Appleton)
12:00 pm Lunch

Presentation: “Green Seam – What is that all about?”
Sam Ziegler, Green Seam (Mankato)

12:45-1:30 and 1:30-2:15

Concurrent Sessions (Choose two of three to attend)

Session A

Broadband in Rural Areas – Case Studies

Jake Rieke – Ag producer perspective
Kevin Beyer, Farmers Cooperative – Broadband provider perspective
Vince Robinson – Pipestone County Case Study
Toby – Le Sueur County Case Study
Facilitated by: Bill Coleman, Community Technology Advisors

Session B

Ag Tech Workforce / Next Generation Skills

Rachel Sannerud – Local Grower/Young Farmers/Direct Ag Marketing (Milaca)
Dave Cone, CEO, Kahler Automation
Willy Mekeel, Geography, Physics, Agriculture Instructor, Riverland Community College

Session C

AGCO Precision Ag Education Trailer
Maximum capacity: 30

2:15 Takeaways From the Day - Sam Ziegler, Green Seam

2:30 Depart for UFC Brownton Fertilizer Facility

3:00-4:00 Tour of Fertilizer Facility and Chemical Warehouse emphasis on technology
Dave Eckhoff, UFC Agronomist

United Farmers Cooperative
705 4th Street East
Winthrop , MN 55396