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Farmers invited to MDA listening session in Pipestone

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 in Pipestone.

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

The Pipestone listening session will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Calumet Inn located in downtown Pipestone on Main and Hiawatha. There is no cost for attending the listening session. Lunch is available for $7 per person for participants registering by Monday by calling 507-825-3316. This session is being sponsored by the Pipestone Chamber Ag Committee.

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

"Between the weather and the markets, farmers have a lot on their minds these days," Boerboom 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."

The department has hosted listening sessions earlier this year other locations and conducted similar sessions in 2008