Agriculture plays a big role in the lives of many people in southeast Minnesota, which is why so many turned out for Tuesday's ag summit in Austin. Ag experts came out to Austin's Holiday Inn to provide ideas for local ag producers on a number of topics. Entrepreneurship, innovation and connecting globally in the ag field were all topics covered during the summit.
While the summit served to educate adults on ag ideas, it also provided an opportunity for young people to learn more.
" I think one thing, especially people at my chapter can learn is, you know, career pathways," says Kristin Schechiger with the Austin FFA, "What can they do at FFA that they can relate to food science and what they'll be doing possibly in the future."
Dr. Jerry Nelson is a former student of Riverland Community College, and one of the keynote speakers of the summit. He has been involved in ag education at the University of Missouri and ag programs in places like Ghana as well as North and South Korea.
Dr. Nelson says there are some areas of agriculture he finds to be particularly important.
"Three main issues that I would mention, one is agriculture has to be sustainable, it has to produce enough food, and it has to be of quality and safety," he explains, "And if we can solve those problems, which will take not only the farmer who produces it but the industries that process it and market it, we can have a very successful agriculture."
Other topics of discussion included marketing, water quality and soil health. Break-out sessions let participants get more ideas from speakers. There were question and answer sessions during different presentations.