Event sheds light on ag innovation

ABOVE: Kevin Anderson, an employee of NuWay-K&H Cooperative, talks to a group about how they utilize drone technology in farming Thursday evening at the annual From the Ground Up event at the Moeller family farm in Welcome.

WELCOME– Project 1590’s annual “From the Ground Up” event was held Thursday evening at the Moeller family farm in Welcome. The theme of this year’s event was innovations in agriculture.

The event first took place in 2016 though this was the first one since 2019. It partners with farm families in Martin County to reach out to community members and leaders who may be unfamiliar with various aspects of farming.

“The first part is, we want to acknowledge and appreciate the agriculture within our county. The second part is to bring in the ag community and have them interact with the non-ag community,” said Wanda Patsche, a local farmer and committee member of From the Ground Up.

About 200 people attended the event. This included business leaders, community leaders, people in education, regional leaders and leaders from the state level.

“Our intent was to have a diverse group, which we did. We want to have farmers and people from the ag sector have conversations and answer questions. It’s all about relationship building and making connections,” Patsche said.

The focus of this year’s event was to showcase a local farm and learn about how technology is making a difference in crop and animal production.

Patsche said planning this year’s event was a bit of a struggle after missing the last two years. However, the 12 member committee started planning in earnest in March. She said the committee members work well together and each have a unique area they work well in whether it’s decorating, finding sponsorships or lining up other details.

As for the sponsorships, Patsche said the money they’re given obviously pays for the expenses, but anything that’s left over is split between Project 1590 and the local FFA chapters.

This year’s event consisted of a social hour, followed by an opportunity to visit three of six different booths.

The six different booths were C & B Operations, which talked about tractors and nutrient applicators; Minnesota Soybean, which went over soybean products; NuWay- K&H Cooperative, which went over drone technology; Easy Automation Inc., that shared information on automating animal feed, grain and fertilizer; Tonne Century Farms, which grows hops that are used in Lost Sanity Brewing, which provided the drinks for the event; Barn Tools, which shared information on barn monitoring.

A meal was also served from Lola’s Catering in New Ulm and dessert was sweet corn ice cream with a variety of toppings. The meal was actually held in a cleared patch of Angel and Matt Moeller’s cornfield.

“We didn’t decide to hold it there until the night before. We were going to have it in the machine shed but once we got there we decided, this is where we want to have it,” Patsche explained.

During the event, Steve Hawkins, another committee member, said they’re open to ideas for next year’s event. Every event has been at a different place in the county. The last one was held at the fairgrounds but the committee knew this year they wanted to hold it on a farm again.

“All or us were quite satisfied with how it went. It wasn’t perfect but nothing ever is. We’ll find ways to improve it and we’re already looking forward to the next one,” Patsche said.


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