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Strategic animal ag conference is Jan. 14 and 15

WILLMAR -- The 2010 Strategic Animal Ag Conference, sponsored by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, Minnesota Farm and Food Coalition and the state Department of Agriculture, is Jan. 14 and 15.

The conference, "A Farmer's Footprint: Quality Management in the Land of 10,000 Lakes," will focus on livestock management, marketing and economic issues, according to Steve Renquist, executive director of the EDC. The conference is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 14 and 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Holiday Inn and Willmar Conference Center.

Topics include marketing strategies, the farm bill, water quality issues, the anti-ag movement, the economics of the livestock industry in the state. Featured speakers include Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, Carrie Tollefson of Minnesota Grown, Warren Formo of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition, and Dr. John Dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

The keynote address on Jan. 15 will be given by Chad Gregory, United Egg Producers, on the anti-agriculture movement and how to be proactive as producers.

The conference will also include a free clinic to test water for nitrate levels. To bring a sample to be tested, let the cold tap run for three minutes and then collect one cup of water in a bag or jar. Results are usually available in 5 to 10 minutes.

For more information about the conference, contact the EDC at 320-235-7370, 888-815-7370 or Registration is due by Jan. 6 and is $55 in advance and $65 at the door.