MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The 2020 Minnesota Ag and Food Summit, hosted by AgriGrowth, was hosted virtually this week and featured discussion on the state of agriculture in Minnesota today and keynote speaker, Gov. Tim Walz.
Much of the discussion during the virtual Minnesota Ag and Food Summit centered around COVID-19 complications that hit several agricultural industries and the recovery steps that are being taken.
“The resiliency, the innovation, the optimism and some of the things we’re seeing right now, even things I know you never take for granted, commodity prices rebounding, markets globally starting to unthaw a little bit, all of those things are reason to celebrate,” said Gov. Tim Walz.
Topics switched to climate change and the governor’s support of advanced biofuels in climate change efforts.
“Environmental groups, some still today, not embracing the potential of what advanced biofuels means from an environmental standpoint and economic standpoint and I think there are golden opportunities from carbon sequestration to innovation and things like the ag campus," said Walz, "I do think the the biggest challenge is, and I’m not going to sugarcoat this, that everything has become so politically or culturally charged that people make up their minds already.”
Gov. Walz stressed the importance of maintaining the workforce.
“That we do that through legal immigration that is smart and makes sense, but I think it all comes back to where people want to live, understanding how important this work is,” said Walz.
Creating a proper pathway for students to learn about opportunities in agriculture was also discussed as a way to help shape the future.
“We need to make sure agricultural education in our schools is fundamental,” said Walz.
Gov. Walz voiced his support for agricultural programs, such as FFA.