Birk to address Farm Bureau members at 99th Annual Meeting

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Annual Meeting will be November 16-18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington. The meeting will include policy development, sessions on agricultural issues, Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) contests, and award banquets.

Keynote Speaker: Matt Birk

Matt Birk is a former football center who played college football at Harvard. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Birk is a two-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection. He retired in 2013 after winning the Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Birk says he never let football define himself. The sport taught him a lot of important life lessons, enough to fill a book titled, “All-Pro Wisdom: The 7 Choices that Lead to Greatness.”

In his motivational program, “Leading to Win,” Birk explains how star players can win games, but it’s the bottom of the roster that ultimately win championships.

The voting delegate session will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, November 17.

On Friday from 8:30 a.m. until noon attendees can participate in Agriculture in the Classroom visits with the Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee. Pre-registration is required. In the afternoon, there will be a service project at the hotel for attendees to make sandwiches for Love One Another, “The Sandwich Guy.”

At 4 p.m., there will be a social hour with elected officials.

Many distinguished Farm Bureau members will be recognized at the Friday, November 17, 5:30 p.m. banquet including Awards of Excellence, Honorary Life Awards, the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award and the MFB Foundation Awards. The Friday awards banquet will also feature MFBF President Kevin Paap’s address and the MFB Foundation fundraising auction.

On Saturday, November 18, members can attend general sessions, the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet and the Collegiate YF&R Discussion Meet. The Saturday Noon luncheon will include the final round of the YF&R Discussion Meet and the announcement of the YF&R award winners.

The conference will conclude on Saturday with the grand prize drawing - a non-transferable air and hotel expense paid trip for one paid Farm Bureau member to the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, January 5-10, 2018.

Speakers and Panels

There will be three general sessions for participants to attend on Saturday, November 18.
*A National Issues update provided by Mary Kay Thatcher – American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Senior Director, Congressional Relations. Thatcher has worked through seven previous farm bills. She knows the opportunities and challenges associated with writing the next one. Get updated on the 2018 Farm Bill’s progress, AFBF priority issues and more.


*A Rural Resiliency panel will discuss farm family stressors such as commodity prices, health care, weather, etc. and discuss ways to handle stress on the farm. Gather tools and resources to help build rural resiliency.


*Economic Challenges Facing Agriculture session speaker will be Betsy Jensen, Farm Business Management instructor, Northland Community & Technical College. She shares her struggles with crop marketing and farm management through blogging and a regional magazine column. As both an educator and farmer, she loves numbers and will keep you entertained while covering the basics of farm management.


For registration information, contact your county Farm Bureau or Lori Wiegand at 651-768-2102 or Registration forms and online registration information can be found at Pre-registration deadline on November 1.