Saint Paul, MN

Visit MDA's Farmfest Booth for Drought Recovery, Weather Tracking Tools, Mental Health, and More

Abdi Isaaq
Chad Fennell/Flickr

ST. PAUL, MN - Attendees of this year’s Farmfest are encouraged to stop by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's exhibit for information and resources on a variety of agricultural programs and issues.

The Farmfest aims to bring together the best in agriculture from Minnesota and around the country. The initiative aims to provide a single location for farmers to network, get experience, and learn how to expand their farming enterprises.

Over 500 exhibitors and vendors will demonstrate their products, services, and technology across 50 acres of land. They conduct real product demonstrations, host clever and insightful educational seminars, and organize enjoyable family activities to help farmers build their family businesses while also celebrating farming and the rural lifestyle.

Highlighted programs from Tuesday, August 3 until Thursday, August 5 includes the following:

  1. Zero % Disaster Loan Program – Farmers impacted by the drought may be eligible for the Rural Finance Authority's Disaster Recovery Loan Program, which can be used to compensate lost revenue or uninsured expenses.
  2. Ag Weather Station Network – learn how to receive real-time weather information and alerts and air temperature inversions on your cell phone via the North Dakota Ag Weather Network's 29 Minnesota weather stations (NDAWN).
  3. Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program – learn how to become certified in this water quality program and obtain ten years of regulatory certainty.
  4. Rural Mental Health Resources - learn about individuals and organizations that are prepared to assist farmers and their families deal with depression, stress, and suicide.

Appearances by special guests on Wednesday, August 4:

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. — Press conference with Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and Second Harvest Heartland CEO Allison O'Toole to discuss partnership in the fight to solve hunger in Minnesota through initiatives such as Farm to Food Shelf.
  • 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. — If you're having a hard time dealing with COVID-19, drought, low prices, foreclosures, or you have someone who is suffering from stress or depression, Ted Matthews, a psychologist who is familiar with farm family issues, will be on hand to informally meet farmers and other attendees.

The event will take place at Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls, Minnesota, from August 3 to 5, 2021, and MDA's Farmfest booth number is #517S.

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