Ag Awareness Day at the U of M will celebrate strides in conservation: Noted environmentalist Patrick Moore will speak

Written By Jonathan Eisenthal

On Tuesday April 20, the University of Minnesota will celebrate, as part of its celebration of Earth Day week, 40 years of amazing conservation progress by farmers. Improved production agriculture methods retain top soil, use fewer inputs per bushel and implement gains in knowledge about best management practices that minimize the environmental impact of farming, even while it has quadrupled its productivity.

The event takes place at the Northrop Auditorium and the Northrop Mall on the Minneapolis campus. Interactive booths sponsored by a spectrum of agricultural groups will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the mall.

In lecture halls inside Northrop Auditorium, beginning at 11 a.m., there will be a series of presentations by crop and livestock farmers talking about things they are doing in their operations that is good for the environment and at the same time makes them more productive.

“We think it’s so significant that this celebration started out as the idea of students in the University of Minnesota Ag Ed club, and that it’s taking place at our Land Grant University–the original vision of founding land grant institutions more than a century ago was to build a better agricultural future,” said DeVonna Zeug, a farmer in Walnut Grove who serves as president of Minnesota Corn growers Association. Zeug will be present for the day’s events including speaking on the producer panel at 11:00 a.m.

Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, and now director of Green Spirit, will deliver a keynote address from noon to 1 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium. His message revolves around a new approach to environmentalism that includes state-of-the-art commercial agricultural and forestry methods that enhance biodiversity, as well as clean renewable energy sources such as biofuels and next generation nuclear power development.

“Most people are unaware that advances in tillage, nutrient management and yield increases allow farmers to be four times as productive as they were on the first Earth Day,” said Warren Formo, one of the organizers of the event, and the executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition. “These advances in productivity are also what makes farming more environmentally sustainable than ever before—the ability to produce more crops on less acreage is the most effective conservation program there is.”

Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s booth will feature corn-based product giveaways, along with information about corn and ethanol production. Association Mascot/Blogger Nafaka Fladeboe will be on hand.

Zeug said, “Since the first Earth Day 40 years ago farmers have made so much progress in our approach to growing crops, animals, fiber and energy feedstocks. We know there are still challenges, but we are ready to step up and face those. With institutions like the University of Minnesota providing a steady stream of scientific advances, we are confident that we can continue to develop our agriculture. What we’ve got is already the best in the world—we have safe, abundant food at the lowest cost in the developed world. Today’s farmer is ready to keep developing farming as a profession that can economically sustain farm families, continue to be a foundation of the national economy, and all the while conserving our natural resources.”

Additional information about Patrick Moore is available.


One response to this post.

  1. […] post: Ag Awareness Day at the U of M will celebrate strides in … By admin | category: University of MINNESOTA | tags: amazing-conservation, earth, middle, […]

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