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Minnesota Pork Congress set for Jan. 20-21

NORTH MANKATO -- Minnesota Pork Congress will be Jan. 20 and 21 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 20 and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 21.

The trade show will feature 150 companies exhibiting equipment and services specifically for pork production and 15 seminars will provide information on current swine-related topics. Admission is $10 per person, if received by Tuesday, and $15 per person at the door.

A manure applicator recertification workshop will be from noon to 5 p.m. Jan. 20. This workshop will satisfy continuing education requirements for certified manure applicators.

Topics for additional seminars Jan. 20 are Transport Quality Assurance certification, market outlook, PRRS eradication update, farming your online community, pork's carbon footprint, Twitter techniques for Ag Tweeps and Tweets, NPDES permit updates, pork trade update and Pork Quality Assurance Plus certification.

Producer education seminars begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 21. Seminars will be Pork Quality Assurance Plus certification, state legislative update, understanding wean-pig crush margins, pork and beans and improving euthanasia methods.

The Minnesota Pork Board will recognize its Minnesota Pork Industry Award winners, retiring board members and Operation Main Street speakers at an awards reception Jan. 19 at the Minneapolis Hilton. Registration and further seminar information is at or by calling Minnesota Pork office at 507-345-8814. Pork Congress is sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Producers Association.

Minn. wheat growers to vote on checkoff increase

ST. PAUL (AP) -- Farmers who belong to the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council vote next month on a proposed increase to their checkoff amount.

The proposal is to raise the rate from 1 to 2 cents per bushel. The 1-cent-per-bushel rate has been in place since the wheat checkoff was established 30 years to fund research and promotion.

Voting will be conducted at several communities in wheat growing areas across Minnesota Jan. 15-25, and Jan. 19-22 at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture offices in St. Paul.

The department also announced Monday that the Minnesota Sunflower Growers Research and Promotion Council has approved its first promotional checkoff program. The rate of 4 cents per hundredweight becomes effective during the next growing season.