Tim Waibel joins MCGA board of directors

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Animal agriculture is still corn’s number one customer in Minnesota, and Courtland farmer Tim Waibel brings direct experience of that to his new position on the board of Minnesota Corn Growers Association. He joined the board in August, to fill out the term of grower leader Curt Watson.

Waibel, 53, raises corn and beans with his wife Mary, and sons Justin and Jonathan, and together they custom finish 25,000 head of hogs each year. Daughters Rebecca and Anna are college students studying nursing and Clarissa, a senior at New Ulm High School, plans to attend South Dakota State University to pursue a degree in ag business.

“Since Minnesota became a state, animal agriculture has been the key mainstay of farmers,” said Waibel. “It has always been a big usage of grain and it will continue to be. As the original, value added use for crops, livestock production is part of what keeps agriculture and our state economy strong.”

Waibel has farmed full time for the past 18 years and his agriculture leadership experience includes four years on the Minnesota Pork Board.

“A lot of issues interest me, and I’d have to say that number one is transportation–we’ve been dealing with the lock and dam issue for a number of years,” said Waibel. “I’d like to help advocate so we can make progress and get the locks lengthened, so the barge operators don’t have to break up their tow-barges. We need modern, efficient transportation if we want to compete in the marketplace.”

Waibel also feels that farm-based renewable fuels are at a critical stage and need as much advocacy as farm organizations can offer.

“We have to continue to get the word out that ethanol is a great solution for fuel and food–it offers a feed product that has become a real staple in animal agriculture, and another point that I think escapes many people is how much ethanol has helped clean up the air emissions. We used to have checkpoints for testing your vehicle’s emissions. After ethanol came on, those disappeared, because ethanol really cleared the air.”

In addition to his work with farm organizations, Waibel continues to be active as a member of the Nicollet County Planning and Zoning Commission. As the main mechanism for managing the county’s land use, Planning and Zoning benefits from the farmer’s perspective, Waibel feels.

“It’s important to do what we can to be fair and to facilitate land uses that keep crop and animal production strong in our county, while we assure that the environment is protected from harm,” said Waibel.

MCGA board of directors includes 18 leaders drawn from across the state. Waibel will serve 18 months to fulfill the remainder of the current term.

 

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