Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Chairman Paul Simonsen joined Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Vice-President Paul Freeman and Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka Thursday, Nov. 13, for the annual President’s Breakfast with Minnesota Agriculture leaders at the University of Minnesota. And while the Floyd of Rosedale made for a nice photo-op, courtesy of the Gophers’ victory over the University of Iowa in football, the focus of the breakfast was on supporting agriculture and giving commodity groups an open dialogue with the University.

“There was a time when the commodity groups started worrying that agriculture had lost its importance to the University of Minnesota,” Simonsen said. “But the breakfast has been a great way of bringing the agriculture world to the U of M to discuss relevant topics. To President (Eric) Kaler’s credit, he’s made this a focus since he has been there.”Paul Simonsen

Simonsen said it is important that the University holds this annual breakfast because it gives Minnesota Soybean a seat at the table, so to say.

“I think it helps to dispel myths,” Simonsen said. “Hopefully we’re turning the corner and making progress.”

Slunecka said the breakfast was also a great way to thank the University for the work it has done on behalf of soybean farmers.

“I made sure to let President Kaler know that we appreciate the University’s investment in helping to find a soybean breeder to replace the retiring Jim Orf,” Slunecka said. “I also commended them for their work with the extension program, which is such an important resource to our farmers. It’s vital farmers can find independent research to help with their production needs.”

Freeman said the meeting is important to the MSGA because it gives a venue in which the University can update all the ag leaders about the research that is being done or progress that has been made.

“It’s good to have open dialogue with the University,” Freeman said. “It allows the University and ag leaders to be on the same page. The University is a good partner for us in many different ways and it allows us keep up-to-date on all that is happening.”

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