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In partnership with farmers, Extension helps shape our nation


Thu, Mar 27th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

By Bev Durgan, University of MN Extension

The theme of this year’s National Agriculture Day – “365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed” – carries a significant message.

We all need farmers for our survival. Today, each U.S. farmer feeds 144 people. As our nation’s No. 1 export, agriculture is vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy.

In the agricultural community, we know what lies ahead: By 2050, farmers will be called upon to feed a projected global population of 9.6 billion people. While that is a sobering challenge, I believe the American farmer – including those on Minnesota’s nearly 75,000 farms – is more than up to the task.

Farmers always have been practitioners of science-based methods, early adapters of proven technologies and innovators in land stewardship. Through delivering research and education, the University of Minnesota Extension helps ensure farmers can fulfill the potential of the land and animals for which they care.

Precision agriculture, for instance, is a growing area through which high-tech systems pinpoint plant nutrient, needs so farmers can target rather than broadcast applications. Inside barns, sophisticated computer-driven analyses help inform exact decisions in raising livestock. Yields in crops such as wheat have increased due in part to research and Extension education guidance on varieties, protein content, straw strength and disease management.

These exciting advances rely upon the close partnership between Extension and Minnesota’s diverse agricultural enterprises, one that reflects advances in research and best practices in farming.

In 2014, Extension’s relationship with agriculture marks a special milestone. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the federal Smith-Lever Act, which created the national Cooperative Extension Service and the partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and land-grant universities that extend research-based outreach and education. In Minnesota, we get to claim home state pride: The University of Minnesota was ahead of the curve, creating Extension in 1909, five years before the federal act.

For 100 years, the Smith-Lever Act has stimulated innovative research and vital educational programs for farmers—and families and youth—through a progressive system that has improved lives through research and education. In fact, Extensio .....
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Farmers and ranchers will celebrate National Ag Day on March 25

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

USDA Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Debra Crusoe encourages everyone to take a moment to appreciate the hard working farmers and ranchers in Minnesota on March 25, National Ag Day. This year’s theme is “Agriculture: 365 ..... 
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Research grants available to help boost Minnesota ag products

Thu, Mar 20th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking applicants for $1.3 million in competitive grants for applied crop research. The research needs to focus on improving agricultural product quality, quantity and va ..... 
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Governor Dayton proclaims March 23-29 as Minnesota Agriculture Week

Thu, Mar 20th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed March 23-29, 2014, as Minnesota Agriculture Week. The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the significant contributions agriculture makes to the quality of life of all Minnesotans. ..... 
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Southern Minnesota Organic Crops Day to be held March 19

Thu, Mar 13th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

The ninth annual Southern Minnesota Organic Crops Day will be held Wednesday, March 19, at the Steele County Community Center. This year’s program aims to provide current and future organic crop producers with additional tools and knowledge to hel ..... 
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Graziers: Register for planned grazing holistic management course

Thu, Mar 13th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

AMES, Iowa — Graziers young and old, new and experienced are invited to attend a course on Planned Grazing with Holistic Management, taking place March 21-22 at the Houston Community Center (109 W Maple St.), in Houston, Minn., located in the sout ..... 
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Snow melt poses challenges for livestock manure management

Thu, Mar 13th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As winter gives way to spring, rapid snow melt and potential for flooding pose challenges for farmers who spread livestock manure on cropland. Farmers who spread solid manure during winter, must ensure that it doesn’t run off w ..... 
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MDA requesting specialty crop grant proposals

Thu, Mar 13th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting grant proposals for specialty crop research and development. A federal block grant from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service was authorized under the 2014 Farm Bil ..... 
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Minnesota beef showcase in its third year

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

Join beef breeders from across the Midwest this March 13, 14, and 15 at the Minnesota Beef Showcase. Held at the Red Horse Ranch Arena in Fergus Falls, the Minnesota Beef Showcase features females and bulls in all breeds. Come see top producing anim ..... 
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