Agri News in its 38th year
Agri News is in its 38th year and throughout that time has never lost sight of its mission.
It is as it always has been an an agricultural newspaper that reports on stories that are important to farmers and rural communities.
Agri News is uniquely positioned in the Small Newspaper Group because it is the only farm publication in the chain.
The newspaper began life as a free distribution publication distributed to eight southeastern Minnesota counties.
Subsequent expansions brought readers in from border to border and north past St. Cloud. Northeast and northern Iowa were added to the coverage area as expansion continued.
We have followed agricultural through the ups and downs that farmers know so well.
The Soviet Union, hungry for U.S. corn, wheat and soybeans, fueled and export boom in the 1970s that brought prosperity to rural America. The Cold War and the Soviet's invasion of Afghanistan brought the booming export market to and end.
The United States retaliated by ordering a grain embargo against its communist rivals.
The economic collapse that followed in the mid-1980s caught most people off-guard. Interest rates soared, land prices crashed and many farmers entered into a financial depression that ultimately changed agriculture and brought painful changes to rural communities.
The 1980s ended and a new era of farming innovation began.
Better seed and chemicals were patented and American agriculture entered a-never-before-seen production boom.
Free-trade deals and changed agriculture policy led exports to become even more important.
Innovation — in the form of ethanol production and bio-based fuels has led to a new era.
Agriculture is more environmentally aware than before and new tillage and field practices have reduced erosion.
We look forward to seeing you during our annual Farm Show March 19-20 in Graham Arenas 1 and 2.
Stop by our booth to chat and please register for our prize drawings.
Bring your appetite because pork and beef producers will offer sandwiches starting at 11 a.m. Serving will continue until all the sandwiches are gone.
Dairy producers will also be on hand to offer milk and other treats.
Funds generated will be reinvested in southeast Minnesota. Some funds will be spent on promoting products, 4-H programs and community events.
The beef producers will donate their earnings from sandwich sales to South Dakota ranchers who lost thousands of cattle in a surprising early October blizzard.
Agri News staff — including senior staff writer Janet Kubat-Willette, staff writer Lisa Young and managing editor Mychal Wilmes will answer your questions and take your suggestions seriously.
Your ideas are important to us. We have incorporated past suggestions into the newspaper to produce a better product.
"So many people stop by and it is fun to see them,'' said Wilmes. "I know that some of them have come to our show for more than a decade. They are more like friends that attendees.''
The cold and snowy winter, Wilmes said, will come to an end soon. The spring sun is growing in strength and hopefully the snow banks will soon melt away.
"For many folks, this will be the last time they can attend a farm show before tractors are rolling,'' Wilmes said.
Just to remind you once again, the show will be open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. March 19 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on March 20.
The show, as it always is, offers free admission and there is ample free parking on the Olmsted County fairgrounds.