Farmer’s Appreciation Day Speakers
Some area agriculture experts will share their expertise with attendees of our Farmer's Appreciation Day event on June 11 at the Rice County Fairgrounds in Faribault.
10:30AM: Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield News
Mark grew up in a small town in north-central Iowa. The family bin site on the south edge of Rowan is where he spent countless hours tagging along with his Dad, sitting in the cab of their John Deere 4840 pretending to haul a load of corn or soybeans to the scale before unloading. Sports began to overshadow farming as Mark got older, and it lead to his pursuit of a sports broadcasting career. Once in the radio industry, he did play-by-play, reported news, hosted a talk show and in a pinch would cover farm market reports. In 2006 Mark became Farm Director at a station in north Iowa and the love affair he had with farming as a boy started all over again. Farm reporting brought him back to his roots. His Grandpa Dorenkamp started a farm from nothing; his Grandpa Burt farmed with his brother before turning it over to Mark’s two uncles, who still farm near his hometown. And Mark’s dad recently retired after more than 20 years at a local coop.
As a farm broadcaster, Mark has won Iowa Broadcast News Association awards for his farm and sports reporting and in 2012 was awarded second place in the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Marketcast category. Mark has been honored by Iowa State University Extension for his support of their programs, served on area agribusiness committees and recently served on the Iowa FFA Foundation Board of Directors. Mark and his wife Melissa have two sons, Gavin and Hudson.
11AM: Jill Sackett Eberhart, USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Jill Sackett Eberhart was raised on a crop and livestock farm in northeast Martin County, Minnesota, where she was active in athletics, 4-H, and FFA. She received a bachelor of science in biology, minor in chemistry, and Minnesota certification in 9-12 Life Science from South Dakota State University in 2005. In 2012, Sackett received a master of education in agriculture education from the University of Minnesota.
Sackett Eberhart has worked for University of Minnesota Extension since 2008. Her conservation work focuses on cover crop research and education and how they affect soil and water quality. The most recent cover crop project is the Southeast Minnesota Cover Crop and Soil Health Initiatives funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. Additional work includes education and outreach for a University of Minnesota grant project focused on transitioning to organic production. She is also one of two Minnesota coordinators for the United States Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.
11:30AM: Travis Hirman, Rice Soil and Water Conservation District
Travis Hirman's duties as district technician include providing nutrient management services for a six county area in southeast Minnesota, and implementing the new buffer law in Rice County. The Rice Soil and Water Conservation District has served as a resource for landowners and farmers of Rice County for more than 74 years.
The Rice Soil and Water Conservation District is engaged in a number of local conservation initiatives, including: soil health and cover crop promotion, nutrient management planning, soil conservation practices like terraces and grassed waterways, flood reduction practices, wetland protection and restoration, and many wildlife conservation practices. To learn more about what Rice Soil and Water Conservation District is doing and how you can partner in their efforts, visit www.riceswcd.org.