6th annual Ag Lunch on Tuesday

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, March 12, 2011

Do you ever think about where the food on your table comes from?

It’s something that the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce agricultural committee hopes to bring front and center during National Ag Day on Tuesday.

“Agriculture is important in Freeborn County and in the whole U.S.,” said Parnell Thorson, chairman of the chamber’s agricultural committee. “It’s important that we promote it, from the business man to residents, to understand what ag is and where they get their food. They need to have a better understanding what takes place on these farms.”

Email newsletter signup

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce will host its sixth annual Agriculture Luncheon Tuesday at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. The event is held on National Ag Day, which is designated by the Agriculture Council of America to recognize and celebrate agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations,

corporations, universities, government agencies and others across the nation join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.

By building awareness, the Agriculture Council of America hopes to also encourage young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture.

Thorson said the luncheon brings awareness of what’s going on in the ag community to business people and residents of Freeborn County. He said it’s also a time to thank business and community leaders for continuing to support agriculture.

He said 150 to 200 people normally attend the event. The biggest crowd came a few years ago, when former Gov. Tim Pawlenty was the featured speaker.

This year’s featured speaker will be Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson.

Frederickson and his wife, Kay, have operated a farm in Murdock for more than 20 years, and his family’s farming roots go back to 1873. He worked as agricultural outreach director for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar from 2007 to 2010, leading listening sessions around the state and talking with Minnesota farmers, ranchers and rural residents about federal issues that mattered most to them.

Frederickson was appointed to his current position by Gov. Mark Dayton in January.

The luncheon will also include the announcement of 2011 Farm Family of the Year and a featured speaker.

Thorson said eight families were nominated for the award this year. He said that most of the families are nominated by friends and neighbors, although the chamber encourages farm families to nominate themselves for the award.

To be eligible, a questionnaire and bio about the family must be completed and submitted to the chamber office. A committee of 10 to 12 people, comprising of Ag Committee members and former farm family recipients, choose the winning family.

“It’s a way to recognize and promote farm families in Freeborn County,” said Thorson.

The ag committee has no other activities planned during National Ag Week, which kicks off today and goes through Saturday.

Thorson said the committee supports other events throughout the year, including the Third Grade Farm Tours each September and the 4-H livestock sale at the Freeborn County Fair in August.

Tickets, please!

What: sixth annual Agriculture Luncheon

When: noon on Tuesday

Where: Fairlane Building located in the Freeborn County Fairgrounds

How much: Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce at Northbridge Mall.