Farm Bill meetings: The University of Minnesota Extension and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency will hold seminars to help farmers understand the crop commodity program provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Meetings scheduled in the area:

  • Olivia: Jan. 13, 10 a.m., Max’s Grill
  • Paynesville: Jan. 21, 9 a.m., American Legion
  • Marshall: Jan. 23, 10 a.m. YMCA
  • PorkBridge and SowBridge: Jan. 15 is the registration deadline for the distance education programs that begin in early February. The six-session PorkBridge is aimed at those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities. The 12-session SowBridge is for people involved in managing or caring for sows, and/or their litters, and boars, including operation owners, employees, technicians, managers and technical service providers. Online registration at or

    Fair farm rental informational meetings: According to the most recent University of Minnesota figures, statewide rental rates for farmland declined 1.6% between 2017 and 2018, putting pressure on landlords’ bottom lines. At the same time, commodity prices for corn and soybean have plummeted, making farmland rental costs an important factor for farmers and their profit margins.

    The University of Minnesota Extension has scheduled a series of land rent workshops to help farmers and landowners make decisions about farmland rental rates for the 2020 growing season.

    One meeting is still set for the area:

    • Willmar: Jan. 29, 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Mid Central Research and Outreach Center

    Women in Ag Network: Feb. 4, 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Willmar Conference Center. The fifth annual conference, “Celebrating Agriculture,” will be a day of learning and networking for women involved in agriculture. The keynote speaker will be Kim Bremmer, founder of Ag Inspirations. She will speak about tangible steps farmers can take to positively move their farms and careers forward, even during difficult times in agriculture. Breakout sessions will feature three diverse tracks for attendees to choose from: personal development, financial management and soil and water quality. The day will end with a panel discussion, “Celebrating Innovators,” featuring local women in agriculture who have taken unique approaches in their areas of agriculture. Advance registration is required at The early bird rate is $50 through Jan. 21. Regular registrations are $65 and accepted until Jan. 28. Late registration is $80 and accepted after Jan. 28 if space allows.

    Private pesticide applicator certification renewal: Feb. 14, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., American Legion, Montevideo. Certification is required if you apply pesticides to land or sites you own, rent or lease for the production of agriculture commodities. For more information, contact Liz Stahl at 507-372-3900, ext. 3912, or email at

    MARL Class XI: Applications are now being accepted for the Minnesota Agriculture & Rural Leadership Class XI. MARL, now in its 20th year, is a two-year educational experience featuring nine two- and three-day, in-state seminars, a six-day national study seminar in Washington, D.C., and a 10- to 14-day international study seminar. Applications will be accepted through April 24. The first session will be Nov. 23-24 in St. Cloud. The application form, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are available online at Interested individuals can join special webinars, and may contact Executive Director Olga Reuvekamp at 507-537-6430 or The curriculum is designed to have immediate applicability for active leaders. Each session features a mix of leadership study, personal skill-building, and location-related subject matter. A majority of each class’ makeup is agricultural producers, and others are professionals involved in rural and ag-related organizations. Most of the activities occur over the winter months.


    The Nutritional World of Dried Edible Beans: Jan. 15, noon to 1 p.m., AgCountry Auditorium, University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329 in Morris. Sara Thronsedt, West Otter Tail Master Gardener, will cover the history of edible beans, talk about the nutritional value of dried edible peas, beans and lentils, and how to grow them. This “Come Grow with Us” class is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, call 320-589-1711.

    Douglas County Let’s Get Growing: April 4, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Discovery Middle School, Alexandria, the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Douglas County annual educational day. Keynote speaker Dr. Joe Storlien will speak on “Gardening in Minnesota’s Changing Climate.” There will be breakout sessions with more than 30 topics. For more information, call the Extension Office at 320-762-3890 or online at Tickets are $30 in advance by March 27 or $35 cash or check at the door.


    Kids Archery League: Open to youth in grades 2-12; 300-round, handicapped scoring; minimum 6 scores required. Fee of $40 for nine Sunday afternoons from Jan. 12 to March 15 (no league Jan. 26) at the Little Crow Archers indoor range in downtown Willmar.

    Tully’s Ice Fishing Memorial Tournament: Jan. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Big Norway Lake, south side lake access, $20 per hole, 12 and under free. Five categories and two age groups along with door prizes. Funds support scholarships for local outdoorsmen from local schools. For more about the Anthony Tullis memorial tournament, see