Nitrogen Smart workshops are coming to your area

Nitrogen Smart, Corn field, Farming, Ag, Agriculture

University of Minnesota Extension personnel will be holding Nitrogen Smart workshops for farmers coming up in the month of December. Good reminder on the most efficient ways to use nitrogen in your fields. (photo from

University of Minnesota Extension invites growers to attend one of several upcoming Nitrogen Smart workshops.

Nitrogen Smart focuses on fundamentals for maximizing economic return on nitrogen investments and minimizing nitrogen losses. Each workshop is tailored to fit that specific region of the state.

Nitrogen Smart, Corn fields, Ag, Ag education, Minnesota

Brad Carlson, UMN Extension

“The goal of these sessions is to help farmers gain a better understanding of how to manage nitrogen more effectively,” says Brad Carlson, University of Minnesota Extension educator and workshop presenter. “It’s an opportunity to talk through the data and research. Farmers can use that information to help reduce environmental impacts and reduce costs for the farmer.”

Nitrogen Smart is presented by University of Minnesota Extension, with support from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, and hosted by the Minnesota Agriculture Water Resource Center (MAWRC).

The workshops are free to attend. No pre-registration is required.

Nitrogen Smart workshops are scheduled for:

4-H Building, Murray County Fairgrounds, 3048 S. Broadway Ave., Slayton

Maynard Event Center, 341 Cynthia Street, Maynard

DECEMBER 14 | 9:00AM-12:00PM | NEW ULM
Best Western, 2101 S. Broadway, New Ulm

DECEMBER 15 | 1:00PM-4:00PM | MORRIS
U of M West Central Research and Outreach Center – AgCountry Room, 46352 State Hwy. 329, Morris

DECEMBER 16 | 9:00 AM-12:00PM | MOORHEAD
Hjemkomst Center, 202 1st Ave. N, Moorhead

McLeod Co. Extension Office, 840 Century Ave SW, Hutchinson

DECEMBER 21 | 9:00AM-12:00PM | ST. CHARLES
St. Charles City Hall, 830 Whitewater Ave, St. Charles

Rice Co. 4-H Building, 1900 Fairgrounds Dr., Faribault

The following Nitrogen Smart workshops are tailored specifically to irrigators:

Lakeside, 180 South Lakeshore Drive, Glenwood

JANUARY 4 | 9:00AM-12:00PM | STAPLES
Central Lakes College, 1800 Airport Rd., Staples

Pleasant Hill Library, 1490 S Frontage Rd., Hastings

For more information on Nitrogen Smart visit, or contact Brad Carlson at or 507-389-6745.

For additional information on nutrient management from University of Minnesota Extension click here.

To view nitrogen-related research funded by Minnesota’s corn farmers click here.

Farm Bureau Members Travel to Washington, D.C.

Twenty-seven farmers and ranchers from across Minnesota met with their members of Congress in Washington, D.C. during the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) Farmers to Washington, D.C. trip September 15-19.

Participants met with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken; members of Congress Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, Keith Ellison, Tom Emmer, Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan; and staff members from the offices of John Kline and Betty McCollum.

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation

Minnesota Farm Bureau YF&R Members took time out from meetings with elected officials in DC to chat with AFBF President Bob Stallman (Photo from MN Farm Bureau FB page (

During their meetings, Farm Bureau members discussed the role of biotechnology both in food production and food labeling, and thanked Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Emmer and Peterson for voting for the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act which establishes a federal, voluntary GMO labeling program. The participants also urged the Congressional delegation to act quickly on extending expired tax provisions including Section 179: Small Business Expensing and bonus depreciation, discussed the effects of the Endangered Species Act and reminded them of the importance of passing a long-term transportation bill.

In addition, attendees met with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking for clarification on the new rule that expands the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Farm Bureau members also discussed the Renewable Fuels Standard as EPA continues to look at volume requirements for 2014-2016. Farm Bureau supports returning the requirements to match the levels set by Congress in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation

After meeting with the EPA to discuss the WOTUS rule, the Minnesota Farm Bureau YF&R members stopped to visit Minnesota Congressman Nolan (Photo from

“This experience outfits young farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to become strong advocates for agriculture and rural Minnesota,” said Miles and Sarah Kuschel, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee members. “It also brings politics and rulemaking to life for our Farm Bureau members and instills the importance of discussing the issues that are important to us. If we are not sharing our story, then someone else will be.”

Some of the trip attendees included AFBF YF&R Committee members, state YF&R and Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee members and YF&R contest finalists.

YF&R contest finalists earned this trip by competing in the 2014 MFBF YF&R Achievement Award and Excellence in Agriculture contests held during the MFBF Annual Meeting in November 2014 or the 2015 Discussion Meet held at the MFBF Leadership Conference in January. In addition to the Washington, D.C. trip, state contest winners receive a $500 cash prize, a trip to the AFBF YF&R national leadership conference and a trip to compete in the AFBF contests. For more information about the MFBF YF&R program, contact your county offices or visit

Minnesota Farm Bureau representing Farmers • Families • Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support our efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota,

For more information on the Minnesota Farm Bureau log onto or

Blog Post: Science, Emotion, and the GMO debate

250px-Monsanto_logo.svg5. @FarmBureau @agricaster the truth behind gmos is that they take away the farmers fundamental rights….

4. @FarmBureau @agricaster environmental companies are fighting gmos to make money..? No Monsanto is pushing gmos to make money….

3. @FarmBureau @agricaster why is it that Monsanto does not have to undergo 3rd party testing?

2. @FarmBureau @agricaster if you would like the viewer to develope an onion give them view from both sides not just a slanted perspective…

1. @FarmBureau @agricaster  this is pro gmo propaganda….

There is something going on here that I don’t understand.  This is a series of  Twitter responses to the story I wrote on GMO’s here about a week ago.  It’s from someone with the handle Death to Monsanto, or @gmomgtg. Let’s talk about these responses.

First of all, “Death to Monsanto” isn’t a credible way to get attention.  How about, “The Truth about Monsanto,” or “What Monsanto isn’t telling you?” Death to Monsanto makes you sound like a gun-toting radical who’s looking to get into the corporate office and start mowing down any human beings you can find.  Not okay.

1. “This is pro GMO propaganda” was the first response.  Okay, if it’s just propaganda, tell me why?  What makes your stand against GMO’s any less propaganda and more believable science?  Please, be specific.  I’d like to know the truth.  It’s what journalists are SUPPOSED to do for a living, in spite of the fact that most of my colleagues seem to have forgotten this.

It’s hard to know what the truth is about GMO’s if you don’t farm for a living.  That’s why Ag has to step up and speak up for their industry. (Photo from

It’s hard to know what the truth is about GMO’s if you don’t farm for a living. (Photo from

2. “..give them a slanted prospective.”  I reached out to an organization called Friends of the Earth, who had a lot to say in an email, but I didn’t hear back from them.  I can’t talk to people who won’t call back or email me.  After all, I do work under deadlines.  I’d have no problem if Death to Monsanto wanted to be my interview guest and fill me in on the evidence that GMO’s are a threat to our health.  After all, I have kids that like to eat, and as their parent, I don’t want to feed them stuff that’s bad for them.  Duh.

3. “…3rd party testing.”  Now that’s interesting to me, and something I didn’t know.  If it is true, tell me WHY.  That tweet caught my attention.  Don’t make accusations and then not back them up with the facts.  It ruins your credibility.  Anyone can make accusations without supporting facts, and there’s a lot of that type of crap going up on the internet.  By the way, do folks reading this know the internet is NOT regulated, and folks can post anything they want?

4. “…make money?”  Do you watch the news?  There are people in this country who make a whole lot of money by being professional “conflict entrepreneurs.”  It’s their way of staying in the news and staying relevant.  See Al Sharpton for proof.  And I have to ask:  when did it become a CRIME to make money?  You see politicians on the news bemoaning how the rich don’t pay their fair share?  Why don’t you check THEIR bank balances?  Those politicians have their hand in the proverbial cookie jar, and they’ve made and hid their share of money too.  That, my friends, is the ultimate hypocrisy, and it’s rampant in Washington.  It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, either.

5. “take away farmers fundamental rights?”  Please tell me how, because that’s something I’d like to know.  The other side of the issue showed me how it SAVES farmers money by lowering the cost of inputs, for example.  Can you give me an example of how it takes away farmers “rights?”  I’d sure like to know more about that, if it’s true.

In short, don’t make accusations and not back them up with facts.  That’s all I’m asking, and I don’t think I’m expecting too much.  I’m not looking for a verbal smackdown, because that’s the strategy of folks who have no science or facts of any kind to back up their position in a debate, so they just shout you down.  Show me science that proves GMO’s are something I need to be worried about.  I’d like to know.