The list of Minnesota-based ag organizations is extensive, but there are a few below you may not have heard about. Some Minnesota ag-related businesses are also highlighted. Remember, click by the AURI Web site at www.auri.org and see what we’ve been up to.
Minnesota Foundation for Responsible Animal Care www.mnfrac.org
MnFRAC respects animal welfare and was founded to be the “voice of reason” for animal welfare issues. The site keeps up to date on the latest news and events concerning humane treatment for animals. MnFRAC’s site describes its three major activities: humane animal care, environmental stewardship, and a safe, wholesome food supply. MnFRAC also has a great links page full of useful resources.
Minnesota Crop Improvement Association
MCIA, Minnesota’s official seed-certifying agency, is one of the oldest ag organizations in the state. Originally founded in 1903 during the Minnesota State Fair, MCIA worked to improve crop varieties. It focuses today on improving members’ productivity, profitability and competitiveness. It provides a range of services including parent-seed production, identity-preserved program design and field inspection services.
Red River Valley Potato Growers Association
Did you know potatoes are the world’s fourth food staple, after wheat, corn and rice? And that during the 18th century, they were often served as a dessert? Just a bit of trivia to be found on Red River Valley Potato Growers “Fun Stuff” page, along with upcoming events and a message board.
RRVPG first organized in 1946 when a handful of growers felt the Valley’s industry needed unification. Membership has now reached over 500 growers, united to “promote profitability and unity of the potato growers of the adjoining states of Minnesota and North Dakota through the development and promotion of quality potatoes.” RRVPGA works on potato growers behalf in such areas as legislation, research, marketing, communication and merchandising.
Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota
With enough information to keep a visitor busy for days, the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board site is for anyone interested in sugarbeets. The growers of American Crystal Sugar Company, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative formed SBREB to promote research, education and sugar production throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. The organization’s Web site includes full-year research reports dating back to 1970, a 2001 production guide, a current events calendar and a searchable journals database.
Farm Shows USA
This site by Midwest Shows, Inc. of Austin, Minn. provides lists of farm trade shows, exhibit space requests, renewal, move in and set up information, host hotel information, floor plans and more. Click for a map of locations, media downloads and scholarship information — all you need to know about what’s going on in the tradeshow world.
Minnesota Management Education Programs
Sponsored by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, or MnSCU, this site features sections for each of its education programs, including farm business management, small business management, computerizing small business, lamb/wool and specialty crops. It also includes benchmarking information from over 2,400 Minnesota farms. As the site grows, keep checking for more statewide reports and links.
The Herb Man
Just for fun, try out The Herb Man site, a Farmington, Minn. company that grows hard-to-find medicinal or uncommon herbs. Though the site is limited as of yet, the company has posted an online catalog of hanging plants, herbs and exotics, potted and house plants, and more. In person, you can visit The Herb Man at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market this summer. (Look for the guy in that hat.)
Canamer International, Inc.
Winona-based industrial fabrics company Canamer International has been providing cover and lining systems for agricultural, recreational, industrial and environmental use since 1973. The company’s covers and liners preserve the quality of seed grains that require customizing for specific needs. One covering system is an ecological storage solution for bulk commodities. Canamer’s site includes detailed information on their products and services, an online shopping option, newsletters and more.