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Farmers invited to MDA listening session on Wednesday

ST. PAUL -- It has been an eventful 2009 for farmers and agribusinesses, and there's no sign of things slowing down in 2010 or beyond. With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is inviting local farmers and others in agriculture to share their thoughts on key issues during a listening session with Deputy Commissioner Jim Boerboom on Wednesday, December 16, in Redwood Falls.

This event is the latest in a series of listening sessions around the state by MDA to hear what's on the minds of farmers and others involved in Minnesota agriculture.

The Redwood Falls listening session will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Redwood Area Community Center, 901 Cook Street, Redwood Falls. There is no cost for attending the listen-ing session. Lunch is available for participants who register by Friday, December 11, by calling 507-637-8139 or 1-877-793-7377.

The informal discussions typically touch on a range of topics, giving farmers and business op-erators a chance to share their perspectives, concerns and suggestions with MDA decision-makers.

"Between the weather and the markets, farmers have a lot on their minds these days," Boer-boom said. "Agriculture is a cornerstone of the state's economy, and it is important to hear from our farmers and ag business operators about the issues affecting them. We welcome anyone who's interested to join us for the sessions."

MDA has held listening sessions earlier this year in Fergus Falls, Roseau, Grand Rapids and Albert Lea. MDA conducted similar sessions in 2008 in Winona, St. Cloud, Worthington, Man-kato, Crookston and Faribault.