Longtime seed dealer happy to be recognized

Longtime seed dealer happy to be recognized
Kenny Pell of Alpha doesn’t sell seed with hopes of being recognized for it.
But he recently was anyway.
Pell, whose Jackson County seed dealership has been in the family since 1967, was recognized as a “Master Seed Representative” by Wyffels Hybrids at the company’s regional sales meeting in August.
Randy Michelson, Wyffels Hybrids district sales manager, said the recognition was well deserved.
“We are so honored he chose to be a seed representative with Wyffels Hybrids last year,” Michelson said of Pell. “I look forward to watching him show corn growers how Wyffels Hybrids can be successful on their acres.”
Pell was presented with a commemorative plaque by Michelson and members of the Wyffels Leadership Team for his accomplishments. He also earned recognition for net customer and unit growth.
Also at the annual regional sales meeting, Pell and other seed representatives received training on the latest advancements in corn genetics and technology, including Wyffels Hybrids’ new products for 2019. They also participated in discussions on how to provide high-quality service to corn growers in their communities.
Wyffels Hybrids was established in 1946 with a vision to produce seed that could help friends and neighbors be more successful. Headquartered in Geneseo, Ill., it is today one of the nation’s largest independent seed corn companies.


Edgerton student assumes title that will enable her to promote agriculture

Jaden Weinkauf, of rural Woodstock, is the Minnesota Teen Miss United States Agriculture.
The 14-year-old 9th grader at Edgerton Public School learned of the title and pageant last summer while on a 4-H trip to Pennsylvania. While there she met Kelly Gillis, who is the Pennsylvania Teen Miss United States Agriculture. Weinkauf decided to apply for the Minnesota title in July and won.
“Basically, I represent agriculture in Minnesota,” she said.
Since winning the title she’s spoken to local agriculture organizations including the Farm Bureau, volunteered to help hand out awards at the Minnesota State Fair and performed community service work during events in Edgerton. She also planned to hand out information about her title and the soybean industry at the Rock River Pumpkin Festival in Edgerton on Sept. 29 and plans to participate in area parades.
Weinkauf said she enjoys speaking to people and was interested in the title because of the opportunity it would provide her to promote agriculture.
“It’s big in this area and a big part of everyone’s lives,” she said.
Agriculture has certainly been a big part of her life. Her parents, Jerry and Shawn Weinkauf, raise about 80 cow/calf pairs, and grow soy beans, corn, alfalfa and sorghum. Weinkauf said she and her two older brothers, Justin and Jordan, all have animals in the herd and are active in the family business. Weinkauf is also a member of 4-H and FFA, through which she shows cattle and participates in the quiz bowl team, livestock team and knowledge team.
Next summer, Weinkauf plans to compete for the national title of Teen Miss United States Agriculture. The competition takes place in June in Orlando, Fla. There, she and the other contestants will speak to judges about their state and its agricultural base. The winner receives a crown, monogrammed sash, $1,000 scholarship and prize package.
Weinkauf said she’s hoping to find people to sponsor her trip to Orlando to compete in the national competition.
She also plans to apply for other age categories of the Minnesota Miss United States Agriculture title in the future. The pageant includes the categories of Baby Miss (0-23 months), Tiny Miss (2-3 years), Future Little Miss (4-5), Little Miss (6-7), Petite Miss (ages 8-10), Junior Miss (11-13), Teen Miss (14-16), Miss (17-21), Ms. (22-30 unmarried) and Mrs. (22-30 married).
In the future, Weinkauf said she’d like to have a farm of her own. She’s also considering a career in business that would allow her to utilize her speaking ability.
Edgerton student assumes title that will enable her to promote agriculture

Biodiesel Truck Built by "Diesel Brothers" to Promote B-20 Diesel in Minnesota

Biodiesel Truck Built by "Diesel Brothers" to Promote B-20 Diesel in Minnesota
Craig Bangasser, a soybean farmer from Garvin, Minn. and former Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) director, recently appeared on two episodes of “Diesel Brothers,” a Discovery Channel reality TV show following operators and employees of the business DieselSellerz, a business that builds and sells diesel trucks.
The show is currently in its fourth season.
Bangasser was on the show because DieselSellerz built a customized truck that runs on biodiesel to promote the B-20 implementation by the state of Minnesota that mandates that No. 2 diesel fuel sold for use in combustion engines must require 20 percent biodiesel.
“Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel, manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled restaurant grease,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
In Minnesota, biodiesel is largely made from soybean oil, which would increase the demand for soybeans and increase the price of soybean bushels.
This led to the MSR&PC looking for a way to promote biodiesel throughout the state of Minnesota.
“We wanted something for promotion and it needed to be road worthy and road legal,” Bangasser said.
The MSR&PC  came up with the idea during a meeting and the staff began working on their pitch to the television show with the type of vehicle they wanted built.
“From what I understand Dave Sparks, Heavy D, their business is all about diesel trucks and pickups and modifying them,” he said. “He (Dave Sparks) was thinking about making his own biodiesel to run off of cooking oil.”
After the initial idea from the organization, DieselSellerz handled the design. The project took about six months, according to Bangasser.
“Mostly it was Dave Sparks,” he said. “It was his idea, he created it. We had very little to do with it until they revealed it to us.”
The truck is a 2018 Ford 550, four-door crew cab.
The MSR&PC project was featured in two episodes of “Diesel Brothers,” the first to discuss the project and a second time to reveal the completed truck.
Some of the filming was done on a farm in Renville, while the reveal was filmed on a dairy farm in California so that the group could show the truck off at the Commodity Classic, a national farm show in Anaheim, Calif.
The MSR&PC has had the truck since late April/early May and has already put about 10,000 miles on it taking it to various events. The truck goes to county fairs, parades and events like biodiesel promotions at gas stations. They hope that the truck will help educate people on biodiesel, reach mechanics who may not be supporting biodiesel, and start conversations about the biodiesel industry.
The Minnesota Soybean truck will make its first Lyon County promotional appearance on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Southwest Minnesota State’s Ag Bowl.
“Biodiesel creates jobs right here in Minnesota, increases demand for soybean while adding 63 cents to every bushel of soybeans,” Bangasser said. “This whole campaign with the DieselSellerz was intended to promote biodiesel, so to get two episodes on prime-time is a huge bang for our buck. It’s priceless advertising for Minnesota Soybean, our farmers and the biodiesel industry.”