Farm News Ag Show set for June 30

Speaker lineup includes several Farm News columnists

EMMETSBURG — The Farm News Ag Show is slated for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 30 at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds in Emmetsburg.

There will be both indoor and outdoor vendors featuring a wide array of agricultural products. The Palo Alto County Fairgrounds are located at 2101 Madison St. in Emmetsburg.

Food will also be available with food trucks on site from “Girl’d Cheese” and “Double MM Catering Sandwich Shop.”

Some popular Farm News columnists are making the speaker lineup this year.

David Kruse

Starting off the day at 8:30 a.m. is president of CommStock Investments and Farm News columnist, David Kruse.

Kruse’s presentation is titled, “A perfect storm is blowing up a wind to the farm economy’s back.” This title refers to how there are supply bull markets and demand bull markets and this one is both together.

“We will discuss the poor end to Brazil’s corn crop transitions into drought concerns for the U.S. growing season,” said Kruse. “The USDA forecasts virtually no increase in year-to-year pipeline U.S. soybean carryover stocks despite higher planted acres and trend yields. Market highs may not come until 2022. We also believe China stole 2020 U.S. corn and soybean crops. They will be back again, though. Inflation rising may not be as transitory as the Fed thinks and what an inflation cycle looks like.”

Kruse is chairman and co-owner of Commstock Investments in Royal. He has been a commodity broker and advisor since 1985.

He began farming in 1973. He is a fourth generation farmer that can trace his farming roots back to Mecklenberg, Germany. He still owns and manages 880 acres of prime farmland. Having experienced the full effects of the 1980s farm depression, Kruse saw a necessity for managing risk, which led him to establishing his own risk-management firm. He has authored The Commstock Report since 1986.

Kruse is also a featured speaker at many commodity conferences as well as private agribusiness meetings. His expertise is sought from major publications such as the Wall Street Journal as well as political candidates running for office looking to become informed about the ag issues.

“We look forward to speaking once again at the Farm News Ag Show and discussing what farmers can expect for market risk moving forward,” he said.

Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. with “Dear County Agent Guy: The Saga of an Accidental Writer.”

Nelson said his talk will begin with stories about his childhood on a small South Dakota dairy farm, his Norwegian heritage, his Lutheran upbringing, and the important role that lutefisk played when it came to choosing a wife.

A life-changing experience eventually led to Nelson’s writing.

“When I was 30, I had a horrific manure pit accident that nearly killed me,” he said. “Throughout the ensuing medical ordeal, my wife kept her wits about her, often challenging those who were ready to fill out my death certificate. Her German stubbornness was a key factor in saving my life. The accident proved to be a crucial inflection point for me. Were it not for that experience, I would have never considered becoming a writer. After all, I had no skills or training beyond a high school diploma. But my thoughts were, what the heck, why not try this writing thing? I should be dead anyway. Every day above ground is a bonus.”

Nelson is a recovering dairy farmer from Volga, South Dakota. He and his wife, Julie, live on the farm that his great-grandfather homesteaded in 1887. The Nelsons have two grown sons.

Since 1997, Jerry has written a weekly newspaper column called Dear County Agent Guy. In addition to his contributions to Farm News, Nelson has also had his work published in Successful Farming, Farm Journal and Progressive Farmer.

Nelson is currently working as a writer and ad salesman for the Dairy Star, a bimonthly newspaper that is read by dairy farmers all across the Midwest.

In May 2016, Workman Publishing published a book containing some of Nelson’s selected works. The book, fittingly titled “Dear County Agent Guy,” is available online and in bookstores nationwide. Readers Digest published an excerpt of his book in September 2019.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a contributor to Farm News for all these years,” he said. “It’s deeply gratifying to receive letters and emails from readers who want to express how much they enjoy my little noodlings. It’s humbling to know that I have become part of the fabric of the lives of so many people.”

Dan Bjorklund

MaxYield Cooperative’s seed team leader, Dan Bjorklund, will present, “Is 300 bushel an acre average possible” at 1 p.m.

“This year we put together a high population corn yield system for MaxYield clients,” said Bjorklund. “The idea is to, weather permitting, put together a system to see if 300 bushel an acre corn is possible in a field average situation. The clients in the program are planting 40-acre blocks at 38,000 to 40,000 (seeds per acre). We are using short stature Stine hybrids that have been bred for high population situations. We are also looking at additional inputs like side dress nitrogen, micronutrient foliar application, additional sulfur, fungicide at VT.”

Bjorklund has been in agronomy for 41 years. He graduated from Iowa State University with an agronomy degree in 1980 and started a career in agronomy with Land O’ Lakes, including agronomic research and training at Land O’ Lakes Answer plots. He also worked as an agronomist for Stine and Syngenta until beginning his current position as seed team leader for MaxYield.

Rick Friday

Cartoonist Rick Friday will round out the day, taking the stage at 3 p.m.

“A farm life, a farm wife and the long walk home” is the title of his speech.

“I will be telling and acting presumably funny stories about growing up on the farm and working on the farm with my lovely wife, respectfully known as ‘The Great Juan.’ You will have to wait to hear about the long walk home,” he said.

Friday will also be at the show throughout the day autographing the most current cartoon in Farm News.

Friday is the fourth generation to own and operate the family farm in southwest Iowa, established in 1895. His wife’s name is Juanita, they have five children and 17 grandchildren, known as “The Sippy Cup Gang.”

Back in elementary school, Friday started drawing cartoons and selling them on the school bus for nickels and dimes. In 1978, he turned down a scholarship in art to farm the family farm. When the farm crisis hit in the ’80s he left the farm and went to work for Winnebago Industries. After his work was rejected by several large newspapers and magazines, in 1993 he started trading cartoons for subscriptions with smaller local papers.

“I landed a short gig with Wallaces Farmer magazine in 1994, which led me to drawing for Farm News in 1995, when the paper first started,” he said. “Self taught, I currently draw and write for four magazines and two newspapers, with a monthly print distribution through subscriptions and newsstands to approximately 220,000 households nationwide and approximately 10 million online page views annually, worldwide.”


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