Event highlights agricultural innovation | News, Sports, Jobs

ABOVE: NuWay-K&H Co-op employee Kevin Anderson talks to a group about how they are using drone technology in agriculture Thursday night at the annual From the Ground Up event at the family farm Moeller at Welcome.

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

The event was first held in 2016, although it is the first since 2019. It partners with farming families in Martin County to reach community members and leaders who may not be familiar with various aspects of agriculture.

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

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

“Our intention was to have a diverse group, which we did. We want farmers and people in agriculture to have conversations and answer questions. It’s about building relationships and making connections,” said Patch.

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

Patsche said planning for this year’s event has been a bit difficult after missing the past two years. However, the 12-member committee began serious planning in March. She said the committee members worked well together and each had a unique area they worked well in, whether it was decorating, finding sponsorships or lining up other details.

As for sponsorships, Patsche said the money they received obviously paid for expenses, but whatever was left over was shared between the 1590 Project and 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 overtook soy products; NuWay-K&H Cooperative, which looked at drone technology; Easy Automation Inc., which shared information on feed, grain and fertilizer automation; Tonne Century Farms, which grows hops used in Lost Sanity Brewing, which provided beverages for the event; Barn Tools, who shared information on barn monitoring.

A meal was also served by Lola’s Catering in New Ulm and the dessert was sweet corn ice cream with a variety of toppings. The meal was actually taking place in an open patch of Angel and Matt Moeller’s cornfield.

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

During the event, fellow committee member Steve Hawkins said he was open to ideas for next year’s event. Each event took place at a different location in the county. The last one was held at the fairgrounds, but the committee knew that this year they wanted to hold it again on a farm.

“All or we were pretty happy with how it went. It wasn’t perfect, but nothing ever is. We will find ways to improve it and we are already looking forward to the next one”, said Patch.

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Joseph K. Bennett