Director Larry Pogemiller from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education visited FarmFest last week to hear directly from those in the field about the connection between higher education and the Ag industry in Minnesota.
The strong partnership between the two was made evident by a panel of experts from the University of Minnesota, including President Eric Kaler. The discussion, “Innovations in Agriculture…Opportunities from the University” focused on the significant contributions the states only Land Grant institution has made in both educating students to work in the agriculture industries and as a world-leader in research and development of new technologies.
During the panel discussion, Kaler announced his intention to ramp up the University’s commitment to agriculture in the future, saying that Minnesota could be the “Silicon Valley” of the food industry. He plans to advance his idea of a stronger commitment to agriculture with state leaders leading into the next legislative session.
Also in attendance was Dan Hoffman, Executive Director of the Minnesota Agriculture & Rural Leadership (MARL) program. Headquartered on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MARL was created to strengthen the rural community by training leaders in the field of agriculture on both the opportunities of today, and the challenges of tomorrow. Director Pogemiller plans to visit the campus of SMSU in the near future to learn more about the MARL program and the impact it has on the rural economy.
Thanks to Gene Stoel, Treasurer of the MN Soybean Research and Promotions Council, and Teresa Spaeth and Andrew Duerr from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) for a tour of FarmFest, as well as a first-hand look at the newest technologies and farming equipment.