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Kandiyohi, Minn., woman is new corn Agvocate

SHAKOPEE -- The Minnesota Corn Growers Association has announced the new Agvocates (Advocates for Agriculture) for 2012-2013. The new Agvocates are Michaela Bengtson of Kandiyohi, Nicholas Peterson of Clear Lake, and Kevin Welter of Stewartville.

Currently in its third year, the Agvocate program is designed to encourage the development of young leaders in agriculture. It also strives to create awareness of issues facing corn farmers and develop young leaders into skilled advocates for these issues.

Bengtson will be a junior this fall at the University of Minnesota where she is double majoring in the teaching and communications tracks of agricultural education. She hopes to one day become an agriculture teacher or work in a promotions or marketing position. Bengtson also helps out on her family's dairy and crop farm, including coordinating their annual PALS Day on the Farm when 50 students visit and experience life on the farm for a day.

"It's crucial for farmers to speak out on agriculture's behalf. Our Agvocates will bring a new and young perspective to advocating for agriculture and will serve as a great voice for Minnesota Corn," said John Mages, corn farmer from Belgrade and president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

Agvocates will receive a $3,000 scholarship.