2017
MGFA Annual Convention & Industry Trade Show

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Headline News

Cargill goes natural for animals (7/7/17) - Cargill Inc., adapting to rising consumer interest in how food is produced, on Thursday announced it was taking a stake in a European company that specializes in natural additives to animal food.

CHS Inc. Names Debertin As New CEO (5/23/17) - A veteran manager at CHS has been selected as the cooperative's new president and chief executive.

Minnesota farmers hit pause as they wait to plant corn this spring - (5/4/17)Chilly weather has slowed corn planting significantly this spring as Minnesota farmers await higher temperatures to dry and warm the soil.

Farmers in the red across the state (3/29/17) - More than 30 percent of Minnesota farmers lost money in 2016, according to a new analysis by the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota State.

Farm Numbers Shrink Slightly, Delince Mirrors National Trend  (2/18/17) - Minnesota lost an estimated 300 farms last year, continuing a regional and national trend that has seen the number of farms decline gradually and the average size increase slightly. 

Cargill vocal about Trump's trade turn (2/4/17) - Cargill Inc., the Minnesota-based company at the center of the global food chain, is stepping out of its usual low-key profile to fight attacks on trade and immigration.

New rules take aim at overusing antibiotics on healthy livestock (1/30/17) - New federal regulations mark the first serious attempt in at least 20 years to tackle what many have called the systematic overuse of antibiotics in healthy farm animals. 

Agriculture Groups Disappointed By Trade Decision (1/25/17) - CHICAGO - President Trump's decision to back out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a $62 billion market for U.S. farmers, provides a fresh threat to a slumping agricultural economy that has grown increasingly dependent on exports. 

Minnesota farmers tightening belts, with ripple effects on the rural economy (11/7/16) - Ed McNamara sat in the driver's seat of his John Deere combine recently, musing about crop prices as he mowed through six rows of corn at a time. 

Dark clouds loom for farmers and their bankers as crop prices languish (8/1/16) - Midwest farmers and bankers face a reckoning this fall as low crop prices and a projected bumper harvest will produce financial losses for the second consecutive year.

Nobel Winners Fault Greenpeace (6/30/16) - More than 107 Nobel laureates have signed a letter urging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Crops Ahead of the Game  (6/28/16) - Minnesota seems headed for another successful year of corn and soybean yields.

Deal Draws GMO Labels Closer (6/24/16) - WASHINGTON D.C. - Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday said they have agreed on what could become the first mandatory national safety standard for labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms - better known as GMOs. 

Farm Struggles Crimp Banks in Midwest (6/18/16) - The farm slowdown and low interest rates are taking a toll on banks in Minnesota & surrounding states. 

Minnesota Takes Big Step to Improve Farm Safety (6/9/16) - Minnesota will have the nation's best funded tractor safety plan now that Governor Mark Dayton has signed legislation that creates the state's first program to help farmers add roll-over protection to aging machines. 

Seeds of Doubt on Monsanto Soybean (5/24/16) - Across Minnesota, grain buyers and sellers have been warning farmers this spring to be wary about planting Monsanto's latest biotech soybean. 

Bird Flu Worries Still Haunt Producers As They Spends Money to Prevent It (5/9/16) - Last year at this time, Minnesota turkey growers were in the middle of a full-blown disaster, the likes of which they'd never seen. 

Farmers Off to Quick Start with Planting (4/26/16) - Many Minnesota farmers are ahead of the game this spring and were planting crops last week. 

Minnesota Crop Farmers Tighten Budgets As They Face Another Rough Year (4/17/16) - As Minnesota farmers climb into their tractors during the next few weeks, they're all too aware that they could lose money this year.  

State's Farm Incomes Take A Hit (4/1/16) - Farmers hauled in a record amount of corn and other crops last year, but declining prices hurt the pocketbook, with average farm incomes hitting a 20-year low in inflation-adjusted dollars. 

In win for beekeepers, Minnesota links insecticide to damaged hives (3/20/16) - In the first test of a landmark environmental law, Minnesota has compensated two beekeepers whose hives were severely damaged last spring by toxic dust that drifted off the fields of a neighbor planting corn.

Senate Panels OKs Ban on GMO Labeling Laws (3/2/16) - WASHINGTON D.C. - In a move that sparked outrage from consumer advocates and praise from the food industry, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would stop states from requiring food labels to note the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO). 

Dan Patch Bridge Will Swing in Spring; 1st Time Since 2007 (2/29/16) - The Dan Patch Line bridge across the Minnesota River will swing shut to carry rail traffic this spring for the first time in nearly a decade, officials said last week, and it's being set in motion by an unlikely source: the Panama Canal.

New Study Finds Freight Rail Plays Significant Role in Minnesota's Economic Success (2/26/16) - A new study shows that freight rail plays a significant role in Minnesota's economic success - it is responsible for $40  billion of state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for adding more than $5,000 in annual income to the average Minnesota household. 

U.S. Oil Trains Now Feeling the Squeeze (2/25/16) - Crude oil shipments by rail have dropped nearly 17 percent in the United States last year as low oil prices, reduced oil output and new pipelines ended six years of rapid growth by the oil train industry.

Value of Minnesota Farmland is on Downturn (2/21/16) - Farmland prices in Minnesota continue to soften as prices for corn and soybeans remain relatively loaw and the outlook for 2016 appears to offer marginal profits for many crop growers. 

Ice Measurements on Lake Pepin Offer Clues to Start of Shipping Season, Spring (2/17/16) - Reads Landing, MN - By the time the men loaded the airboat onto Lake Pepin's icy shell, the clouds had cleared.

BNSF Sharply Cutting Capital Spending In Minnesota This Year (2/17/16) - BNSF Railway said Wednesday it will reduce its capital spending in Minnesota this year by 60 percent, part of a reduction nationwide that reflects softening demand for freight service. 

Former Fagen CFO Used Fake Ethanol Company to Embezzle $4.5 Million (2/17/16) - A former CFO at Fagen Engineering created a fictitious ethanol company in Nebraska called Fairmont Investments LLC to help her allegedly embezzle $4.5 million from her emplyer's company.

OFFICIAL NOTICE: Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association (12/31/15)The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association will be holding its 109th Annual Meeting on Monday, February 1, at 1:15 p.m., in the Opportunities Suite of the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center.  The Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with the annual MGFA sponsored convention and industry tradeshow.  The meeting will include: review and acceptance of the 2014/2015 fiscal year-end statement; the election of three (3) directors to the MGFA Board of Directors; reports on staff and association activity during the year; and transacting other business brought before the delegates.  Each member shall be entitled to one vote in the affairs of this association, regardless of how many facilities are owned or operated by such member.

Annual Meeting:  One item at the meeting will require members to step forward as candidates for at least two of the three positions on the MGFA Board that will be expiring at the Annual Meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the convention. The positions due to expire are: District 1, a restricted co-op farmer director position being vacated by Lyle Hovland, a Rothsay Farmers Co-op director; District 3, a director position open to any member, with its current director, Ben Hedtke of the Farmer’s Cooperative Elevator Company of Hanley Falls, running for re-election; and, District 4, a director position also open to any member and being vacated by Brad Stenzel, Matawan Grain and Feed, Inc.  For details on district boundaries and association bylaws, go to pages 8-11 in the 2015 MGFA Directory or contact the MGFA office.

The U.S. House Transportation Committee Leadership Introduce Legislation to Extend Rail PTC Deadline  (10/6/15) - The bill, Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015, gives railroads until the end of 2018, a three year extension, to implement PTC, provides limited authority for the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary to entend the deadline beyond 2018 if railroads demonstrate they are facing continued difficulties in completing the mandate, but have made every effort to install PTC as soon as possible and requires railroads to complete progress reports on implementation.

Minnesota Feed Industry Losses Due to Avian Flu Exceed $55 Million (7/29/15) - The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, based on data compiled by the University of Minnesota Extension Service, has estimated that Minnesota feed manufacturers experienced an estimated $55.1 million loss in demand for poultry feed due to the recent Avian Influenza outbreak. 

USDA: Flu vaccine works on chickens; turkeys next (7/22/15) - DES MOINES - Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100 percent effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday. 

FDA Releases Veterinary Feed Directive Final Rule (6/2/15) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 2 announced the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule, an important piece of the agency's overall strategy to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food producing animals.

Bird Flu's Devastating Effects Hit More Than Turkey Barns (5/26/15) - PRINSBURG, MN - Truck trafic through the Farmers Co-op's feed mill here is about half of normal these days.

Rail's Balancing Act: Safety vs. Efficiency  (5/18/15) - WASHINGTON - Bob Zelenka, Executive Director of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, sums up the current rail shipping conditions for Minnesota in one sentence: "What a difference a year makes." 

Racing To Break Even  (5/17/15) - The Peterson brothers were rolling early this year, with Chris planting corn on one field near Northfield, Bruce planting soybeans about a mile away, and Brian racing between the two of them to supply extra seed, oil and other needs. 

Stong Crops, Weak Prices (12/1/14) - Bin-busting crops in corn and soybeans are causing furrowed brows rather than smiling faces for many Minnesota farmers this year.

Pigs Too Fat For Holiday Hams (11/20/14) - CHICAGO - Eating ham has never been more expensive than this year, partly because U.S. pigs are too fat.

BNSF To Spend $6B In 2015 To Ease Gridlock (11-20-14) - NEW YORK - BNSF Railway Co., the railroad owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to spend a record $6 billion next year to help speed trains and improve service cripmed by surging grain and oil shipments. 

Grain Takes a Detour (11/17/14) - Railroad bottlenecks, congestion and high freight prices have frustrated Minnesota farmers this year as they try to sell their corn and soybeans. 

Rail Congestion Costs Farmers (10/10/14) - ST PAUL - The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association has been around for 108 years and for 108 years its members have been having trouble with railroads, its executive director told members of a joint legislative committee.

Grain Bin Toll Heightens Fear For Harvest (9/23/14) - The corn wasn't flowing out of the grain bin any longer, so farmer John Daley stepped inside to look more closely.