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Can't-Miss FORAGE Gathering in St. Cloud Nov. 16-18!

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Back-to-back MFA Risk-Reduction Research Summit and 1st MN Forage Research Symposium highlight current and future science to advance our industry.


If FORAGE matters to you, St. Cloud's Best Western Kelly Inn is where you'll want to be from noon Tuesday, Nov. 16 through noon Thursday, Nov. 18.  If you're unable to commit 48 hours to exceptional forage information, you'll benefit whenever you're able to participate.


The Midwest Forage Association (MFA), with support from the Risk Management Agency, is hosting its 3rd Research Summit; followed by the 1st-ever Minnesota Forage Research Symposium hosted by UMN-Extension, the MFA, the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the MN-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.  The dual-meeting format and content are sure to engage, educate, and inspire all forage workers.


Sixteen (16) Certified Crop Advisor continuing education credits will be available; including 9.0 in crop management, 3.5 in soil & water, 1.5 in integrated pest management, 1.0 in nutrient management, and 1.0 in professional development.  Register on-line at, or by phone or mail to the MFA Headquarters at 4630 Churchill Street #1, St. Paul, MN  55126; 651-484-3888.


The Nov. 16-17 Summit is $25 for MFA members, and $50 for non-members.  Registration for the Nov. 17-18 Symposium ranges from $50 for producers not seeking CEU credits to $135 for industry/ag professionals seeking CEU credits.  These low fees include meeting proceedings/materials, meals, and refreshment/snack breaks; and are possible thanks to the generous support of several key partners.  Visit the website for more information. 


On Nov. 16, Summit registration opens at noon, and the meeting commences with a short welcome by MFA President Beth Nelson.  Half-hour presentations occur the rest of the afternoon on Nov. 16, and include: a Grass and Grass/Legume Mixture Research Update by UMN's Paul Peterson, Forage Crop Insurance Options for 2010 & Beyond by RMA's Kevin Erickson, an update on an Alfalfa Sulfur Survey by UW-Extension's Jerry Clark, an update on WI's Alfalfa Yield & Persistence Project by UW-Extension's Mike Rankin, an update on the USDA-ARS Alfalfa/Forage Research Program in St. Paul by USDA-ARS's Deborah Samac, and an overview of USDA Conservation Programs for Forage Producers by USDA-NRCS's Paul Flynn.  At 5:00 PM on Nov. 16, a reception with posters, exhibits, and heavy hors d'oeuvres will provide a comfortable, stimulating environment for visiting and networking.


Day 2 (Nov. 17) of the MFA Summit opens with a breakfast buffet at 7:30 AM and more time to view posters and exhibits.  Half-hour presentations resume at 8:30 AM, and include Sorghum-A Potential Forage & Biomass Crop in North Dakota by NDSU's Marisol Berti, and a Roundup-Ready Alfalfa Update by Forage Genetics International's Mark Fanta.  The Summit culminates late morning on Nov. 17 with an interactive roundtable-format discussion of research opportunities and needs for our important, diverse industry.


On-site registration for the 1st MN Forage Research Symposium opens at noon Nov. 17.  At 1:00 PM, UMN-CFANS Associate-Dean Abel Ponce de Leon and USDA-ARS St. Paul Plant Science Research Unit-Leader Dr. Carroll Vance open the Symposium with a warm welcome and some important context for what follows.  Two concurrent research presentations will occur every half-hour from 1:30 to 5:00 PM, and again from 8:30 AM until noon on Nov. 18.  These presentations will feature 23 different UMN, USDA-ARS, and USDA-NRCS researchers!


Symposium topics will highlight the latest forage-systems research on important forage topics related to alfalfa, corn silage, grasses, pastures, dairy, beef, sheep, soils, tillage, fertility, pests, crop rotations, grazing, biomass, conservation, and climate change.  A reception with posters, exhibits, and heavy hors d'oeuvres will begin at 5:00 PM Nov. 17.  A breakfast buffet will be provided Nov. 18 beginning at 7:30 AM.


For more information and registration, visit or contact MFA staff at 651-484-3888,

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