Rural Legislative Forum

“Fueling Our Future… Energy From The Land” is the theme of the 23rd Annual Rural Legislative Forum on Friday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Central College Conference Center, 1920 Lee Blvd., North Mankato, MN. Forum sponsors include: Minnesota Agri-Women, Minnesota Farm Bureau, South Central Technical College’s Agri-Business Department and Farm Business Management Program, Region Nine Development Commission and the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Registration cost for the Forum is $10/person in advance, and pre-registration is requested by Monday, Dec. 5. Cost is $15 at the event, without pre-registration. The registration fee includes the noon lunch and all printed materials. To register, or for more information about the forum, contact the Blue Earth County Extension Office by phone at (507) 304-4325, or by e-mail at: blueearth@extension.umn.edu

Some key questions that are often heard by the general public regarding bio-fuels and renewable energy include: Why am I paying widely varying prices at different stations for E-85? Why can’t I find renewable fuel products at more locations throughout Minnesota? If ethanol and biodiesel are such a great deal, why do we need mandates and incentives? What about wind, biomass, solar and other renewable energy sources?

A keynote panel at the Forum will address these questions and other insights on the future of renewable energy in Minnesota and the U.S. The panel will include Steve Taff, Agricultural Economist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service. Other members of the panel will be Gerald Tumbleson, Trimont, MN, National Corn Growers Assn. President; and Bob Metz, West Browns Valley, SD, American Soybean Growers Assn. President. They will provide a national perspective on the ethanol and biodiesel industries.

Farm Broadcaster of the Year
Lynn Ketelsen, Farm Director of the Linder Farm Network (LFN), was recently named the 2005 Farm Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) at their recent meeting in Kansas City. In addition, the LFN was recognized by an independent panel of farmer judges as having the best farm program in the U.S. The Farm Broadcaster of the Year award is the top award given by NAFB, and considers broadcasting ability, commitment and involvement in agriculture as criteria for the designation. Editors note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.