Monday, August 2, 2010

Yeah, I'm pumped for this event - the 29th annual Farmfest begins tomorrow south of Redwood Falls

The 29th annual Farmfest is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on the Gilfillan Estate, 7 miles southeast of Redwood Falls.

A congressional candidate forum takes place beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday under the forum tent. Confirmed participats include U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and his opponent in the 7th District, Republican Lee Byberg of Willmar; U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Republican Randy Demmer and Independent Steven Wilson, his challengers in the 1st District. Also participating are Democratic challenger Tarryl Clark, who faces U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. in 6th District, and Democrat Dan Powers, who faces U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn. in the 2nd District race.

Noticeably absent is Michele Bachmann.

The U.S. House candidates will be quizzed on a variety of issues affecting agriculture and rural communities.

All five of the major candidates for governor have confirmed they will be a part of the candidate forum at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday under the forum tent, an event that I will be attending, photographing, and videotaping. This includes Republican Tom Emmer, Independent candidates Tom Horner and Rob Hahn, and DFL candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the keynote speaker at the Forum Tent at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. There will also be a panel discussion on what the next governor needs to know about rural Minnesota at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Panel members include state Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson; King Banaian, economics professor at St. Cloud State; Jim Miller, executive director of the League of Minnesota Cities; and Lee Warne, executive director of the state Rural Education Association.

Farmfest will also include many forums on a wide range of ag-related topics including understanding carbon credits, the future of the livestock industry, weather and commodity outlooks and strategies for agricultural education.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 for adults and free for youth under age 18. Parking is free.

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