WASECA, Minn. (KEYC) — For more than ten years, the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center has held an annual open house displaying their research as they invite the public for a day of agricultural learning.
Groups such as Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, 4-H and wineries joined the research center in displaying the fruits of the agricultural industries’ labor as they continue to evolve.
“Agriculture has changed, demographics have changed, people who care about agriculture have changed. We have fewer farmers, farming is now really high tech, we’ve got more kids that are not directly connected to farms,” said professor and head at, the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center.
The research center hopes to bridge the gap between producers and consumers.
“How do we communicate the value of what we do to the everyday person? We figured the best way to do it was create a fun event, bring them in, let them have a good time with their family, their friends, and put on some interactive exhibits,” said Izuno.
A free meal, baby animals and a first look at new, locally-brewed adult beverages made it an event for all ages.
“Microbreweries are very popular and those brewers are local brewers that would like to use local hops and we’ve got some people here working on that and there’s a brewer here that can show you some samples of what they’re doing in that industry,” said scientist at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center, Tom Hoverstad.
“Beer Brewing is going back to the way it was before the prohibition, in that now every little town is getting their own brewery, people are starting to want to go back to their local brewery and have a beer rather than going to the store and buying it,” said Half Pint Brewing Company owner and head brewer, Mike McQuery.
Growing hardier hops varieties is one of many solutions being sought after by the University of Minnesota.
“We work across areas from crop systems to livestock systems, a key part of this is the health of our animal food systems, the productivity of those animal food systems and really trying to draw that science into a place that delivers on feeding that growing population and conserving and protecting our natural resources,” said dean of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota, Brian Buhr.