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Farmfest is this week at Gilfillan Estate south of Redwood Falls

GILFILLAN ESTATE -- Farmfest, now in its 30th year, is today through Thursday at the Gilfillan Estate in Redwood County.

The show runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 for adults. Attendees 18 and under are admitted for free.

The annual farm show, which includes 625 exhibitors and more than 35,000 attendees, includes a series of forums on topics related to agriculture.

According to a news release from Farmfest, Gov. Mark Dayton is slated to give a keynote address at 10:15 this morning. A discussion on the next Farm Bill is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., with a panel including Kevin Paap, Farm Bureau president; Doug Peterson, Farmers Union president; Chris Clayton, DTN ag policy analyst; and Dave Ladd, president of RDL and Associates LLC.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Collin Peterson and Rep. Tim Walz are unable to attend the event due to commitments in Washington, D.C.

The forum tent will also host discussions today on regulation at 1:15 p.m. and on "finding a common message for agriculture" at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. There will be a special forum at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday on designing state agencies to enhance the agriculture industry.

Farm Bureau will host a free breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. Wednesday with a special guest, new University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler. Kaler will also give a keynote address at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a discussion on "keeping the land-grant mission alive" with Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension; Gyles Randall, retired University of Minnesota soil scientist; and Jim Nesseth, crop consultant.

New this year is a livestock pavilion, with an exhibit area that will house numerous livestock-related vendors and exhibitors, and include a new forum stage with expert speakers who will address subjects related to the region's livestock sector.

The forums will address a wide range of topics including: managing feed costs; resources to navigate regulations; disease management; antibiotic use; and financial and legal services.

The new livestock area will be located near gate 2 on the south end of the grounds.

Other special events at Farmfest in the Forum Tent include the naming of the Minnesota State Pork Ambassadors at 1 p.m. Wednesday and the fourth annual auctioneering championship at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The "Farm Family of the Year" Recognition Program will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Forum Tent. More than 65 honored farm families from throughout Minnesota have been selected at the county level for this recognition. This recognition event is jointly sponsored by Farmfest and the University of Minnesota.