Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend our local county corn and soybean growers’ annual meeting. Last year, I was elected as a board director to the Nicollet/Sibley County Corn and Soybean Growers Association, and it has been such a great way for me to get more involved in our community and represent our farm, HyTest Ag, since we farm in Sibley County near Hamburg/Green Isle.
The purpose of county boards like this one is to be the “middleman” between the local farmers and state leaders. We advocate for farmers and educate the general public about agriculture in our communities, particularly corn and soybeans, by using checkoff dollars. In the United States, a commodity checkoff program collects funds through a mechanism, such as checkoff dollars, from producers of a specific agricultural commodity and uses those funds to promote and conduct research on that particular commodity.
These organizations are responsible for promoting their commodity, like corn or soybeans, in a generic way, without reference to one particular producer. Checkoff programs attempt to improve the market position of the covered commodity by expanding existing markets, increasing demand, and developing new uses and markets. So, they’re kind of a big deal when it comes to advocating and supporting agriculture. 🙂
With nearly 100 other farmers, we came together yesterday for in-person camaraderie, a wonderful meal, updates from state leadership with Minnesota Corn and Minnesota Soybean, and many attendees went home with great door prizes. The highlight of our meeting was the speaker, Minnesota’s very own, Lynn Ketelsen of Linder Farm Network. It was truly an honor to meet Mr. Ketelsen in person, as I have listened to his broadcasts since I was a young girl.
Some of you may know, but during my junior and senior year of high school, I actually worked as a radio broadcaster for a local station. Part of my job was to record the market updates from Linder Farm Network every single day at noon, so I am quite familiar with Lynn’s iconic voice. He truly was a class act and he spoke so eloquently on current hot topics in agriculture. He even did two live, on-air interviews with our board president and the chairman of the board for Minnesota Corn. Mr. Ketelsen has been selected as an inductee into the Minnesota Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame for this coming fall, so it was neat to see an agricultural legend in action!
In talking with some of the farmers and past board members, it was refreshing to hear that they are proud of the representation on our current board. One gentleman made the comment, “When I was president of the board, it was nine old white guys.” Now, out of the nine board members, three of us are women and the entire board ranges in age from 25-55. So, I’d like to say we are a young, progressive board that really enjoys our time together!
I am a firm supporter of women having a place in agriculture, and on the farm in particular. Spending an entire day in a room full of farmers, talking about farming, is certainly how I love to spend my time. Needless to say, I am pretty honored to be one of the farmer representatives for our corn and soybean producers in Nicollet and Sibley counties.
If you have any questions about specific projects we’re working on (we have a women in ag event coming up in May!), or just want more information about checkoff programs, drop me a comment below or subscribe for future posts about the corn and soybean growers associations!
Rooted in ag and led by faith,