2020 Ag-Urban Partnership Forum on Water Quality

Date: December 16, 2020

Time: 8:45 a.m. – Noon

Location: Virtual

A Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Event

What: A conversation on the ways that agricultural and urban partners are working together to improve water quality around Minnesota. This builds off of the inaugural event in 2019 that sparked new partnerships in the Minnesota River Basin, and explores ways to keep the conversation – and the partnerships – going, and beyond this basin.

Who should attend: Ag and urban partners looking for ideas and information on how to develop and strengthen their relationships for working together to improve the water quality of Minnesota lakes and streams. These partners include elected officials, municipal employees, producers, tribal leaders, commodity groups, watershed professionals, advocacy groups, lake associations and private citizens.

Desired meeting outcomes: 

  • Learn from innovative examples of Ag-Urban collaboration
  • Listen to stories about groups that have broken down barriers and are working together
  • Hear strategies how to move partnerships forward within existing planning frameworks
  • Recognize successful partnerships
  • Inspire additional partnerships


  • Welcome by Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen and MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop
  • Results from the 2019 Ag-Urban Partnership Forum held in Mankato
  • One Watershed One Plan: How it works and why you should get involved
  • Ecosystem Services Market Place Minnesota pilot program
  • Panel: Ag and urban partners in water quality

WEBINAR: Impacts Of COVID-19 On Minnesota’s Food And Ag Supply Chain

Date: December 16, 2020

Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Location: Virtual

The COVID-19 virus impacted nearly every aspect of American life and business. Minnesota’s food and agricultural supply chain has not been spared from the effects of the pandemic. These businesses faced unprecedented challenges and continue to make difficult decisions to ensure financial viability.

Given the essential nature of food and agriculture, a coalition of Minnesota food and agriculture groups partnered to survey related processors and manufacturers in July 2020 to better understand the supply chain effects of COVID-19, as well as the identifying resultant pain points and what new services, resources and collective solutions may help overcome them.

Over 100 respondents provided insight into supply chain disruptions and responses, including market and sales losses, labor shortages, bottlenecks, etc. While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Minnesota food and agriculture manufacturers and processors business, the disruptions did not break them. Rather, the pandemic exposed gaps that need to be addressed to make supply chains more agile and resilient in navigating future disruptions. 

The study was conducted through a partnership of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, AgriGrowth, the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, GreenSeam and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. 

Join the webinar to hear the survey results and a panel discussion on insights and potential actions resulting from the effort, followed by an audience question/answer session. 


AURI Connects: Webinar Wednesday is a monthly webinar series hosted by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. Each webinar explores different aspects of the food and ag sectors in Minnesota—from resources for food entrepreneurs to innovations in coproducts and biobased energy. 

Webinars take place on the second Wednesday of the month from 12 pm – 1 pm CT. Registration is free and open to the public. To learn more about upcoming webinars and watch past recordings, visit us at www.auri.org/webinar-wednesday

3 Steps to Transitioning the Family Farm Webinar Series

Start date: November 10, 2020 - End date: November 12, 2020

Are you prepared for your annual financial review and to make confident business decisions? Do you have the right estate and wealth plan in place to reach your retirement goals? Are you thinking about transitioning your ag operation onto the next generation? These are tough questions to consider. Where do you go from here?  
Join us for a three-part webinar series to help you begin the process of transitioning your family farm. You will hear from Eide Bailly specialists on how to get your financial statements and analysis ready for financial meetings, as well as discuss different estate planning techniques and steps to take to begin the transition planning process.  

Agribusiness Finance
Tuesday, November 10  | 9 – 10 a.m. CST
Mike Schaefer | Agribusiness Finance Specialist

Estate Planning
Wednesday, November 11 | 10 – 11 a.m. CST
Ava Archibald | Principal

Transition Planning
Thursday, November 12  | 9 – 10 a.m. CST
Travis VanDyke | Partner


Partnering with Agribusiness Day

Date: November 5, 2020

Time: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: Snell Motors Showroom - 1900 Madison Ave, Mankato, MN

GreenSeam and the Agribusiness Program at South Central College would like to invite you to participate in the “Partnering with Agribusiness” day on Thursday, November 5th, 2020.

By attending, you will have the opportunity to network, recruit, and interview SCC Agribusiness and MSU College of Business students.

Fee: None 
When: Thursday, November 5th, 2020
Where: Snell Motors Showroom - 1900 Madison Ave, Mankato, MN
What to Bring: Promotional booth and materials


8:30 am - Set up of booths and business displays (optional) – Conference Center Foyer

9:00 am - Brad/Sam will do welcome

9:05 am - Introductions - Companies/students

9:45 am - Booth/Display Time for Networking with Students – Conference Center Foyer

11:30 am - Conclude 

12:00 -  Discussion with small group of students and businesses RSVP only                                                        

(Panera Catered lunch. RSVP to sziegler@greenseam.org)

12:30 - Discussion ends

Please RSVP with the Participation Commitment to Shelly Kitzberger shelly.kitzberger@southcentral.edu by Friday, October 30th, 2020.
We hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you at Snell Motors!

Special Thanks:

South Central College Agribusiness Faculty & Staff

Snell Motors

China Town Hall 2020

Date: November 20, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Location: ONLINE

China Town Hall is a national conversation about China that provides Americans across the United States and beyond the opportunity to discuss issues in the relationship with leading experts. 

National Speaker: Ray Dalio

Join renowned investor, philanthropist, and New York Times best-selling author Ray Dalio for a discussion of today's most important issues, and the critical roles the United States and China play in an era of rapid global change, at the 14th annual CHINA Town Hall Keynote.

Ray Dalio and his family have been deeply involved in business and philanthropic efforts in China for 35 years, and we are pleased he will kick off this year's nationwide CHINA Town Hall event. In addition, each of our local partner organizations around the country will convene an accompanying town hall conversation to delve deeper into the issues and concerns of their local community.

Local speaker: Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon, president of the American Soybean Association,  owner of Worthington Tax and Business Services, a full-service business that provides farm analysis and planning, and a fourth-generation farmer in Worthington, Minnesota.  Read full bio here>>>

Virtual Tales on Tap: Christensen Farms

Date: September 29, 2020

Time: 15:00-16:25

Location: Virtual

If your company is a member of the Minnesota Chamber, you will need to log in to our portal to receive member pricing. For instructions on how to create portal credentials and how to register for an event, click here

Join us September 29 via Zoom to hear the story of Christensen Farms from Director of Public Affairs, JoDee Haala. Attendees will not only learn about Christensen Farms and be able to ask JoDee questions, but also meet each other via virtual networking breakout rooms. This event is a great way to connect with other business professionals from across the state from the comfort of your own home or office.

Christensen Farms was recently featured on our blog. Click here to view that post, and join us on September 29 to learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting Minnesota's pork industry. 

Tales on Tap is a series of after-hour get-togethers where guests learn the impressive stories behind a collection of some of Minnesota’s most innovative companies. Attendees gain special insight on fellow Minnesota Chamber member company operations from the owners and top-level managers. Plus, it’s an opportunity to unwind from the workday and connect with other business professionals.


Date: December 6, 2020

Location: Graham Park Fairgrounds, Rochester, MN

Food and beverage businesses from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are called to register for the Seventh Annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace festival, to be held on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. To accommodate social distancing needs, a hybrid event is planned, offering online ordering with curbside pickup plus a modified in-person marketplace to take place at the Graham Park County Fairgrounds. Food businesses that use local ingredients can learn more and register online at local-feast.org/registration2020.

Just like grocery stores were called out as essential, farmers markets have continued their service of bringing local farm produce to consumers. This was quickly apparent in Rochester when an online sales platform designed for bulk sales was shifted to allow for smaller pack sales to individual consumers for a drive-thru farmers market on March 21.

Jan Joannides, Executive Director of Renewing the Countryside and co-founder of the FEAST! Local Foods Network, was part of the Farmers Market Food Hub team that made that online pivot, and will be guiding efforts to get FEAST! vendor information online for ordering. “FEAST! is all about expanding markets for farms and food businesses in our region, so we’re all in for meeting the challenge of achieving that amidst the need for safe distancing.”

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is excited to see FEAST transition to a new, covid-friendly, event format. MDA’s Marketing Section Supervisor, Emily Jerve said, “The FEAST! team is adapting their approach to continue to support the food community in their region, just as we recently pivoted a popular cost sharing program to help Minnesota farmers and food makers who are innovating in the new covid-influenced food marketing channels, including E-commerce.”

FEAST! hosts more than 100 regional food businesses each year, including national award-winners. Many exhibitors utilize locally-grown ingredients in foods like cheese, jam, and wine, and include features like gluten-free, grass-fed and organic, as well as environmentally- and socially-responsible practices. See the 2019 exhibitors here, and an array of photos from the 2019 event here

FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is co-hosted by non-profit organizations, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundationand Renewing the Countryside, and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. For more, visit www.local-feast.org. Follow @localfeastnetwork on Facebook, @Local_Feast on Twitter, localfeast on Instagram, and use #localFEAST to join the conversation.

Agricultural Drainage + Future of Water Quality

Date: August 20, 2020

Time: 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

FREE Virtual Event.

Join industry leaders, landowners, producers, and agencies for a series of virtual presentations and small group discussions about water resources solutions that address the need for improved drainage, enhanced habitat, and meaningful progress toward water quality goals throughout our region.

Greater Mankato Business Awards & Hall of Fame

Date: November 10, 2020

Time: 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Location: Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center (1 Civic Center Plz, Mankato, MN 56001)

Each year Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., which includes Greater Mankato Growth, Visit Mankato, City Center Partnership, and GreenSeam, recognizes outstanding businesses, organizations and professionals at the Greater Mankato Business Awards & Hall of Fame. 

GreenSeam Awards & Nomination Forms:

The GreenSeam Awards have been established to honor businesses or organizations that have contributed to the betterment of life in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa by creating jobs or development opportunities for employees.

These recipients have demonstrated qualities of entrepreneurship and a commitment to their community through service, volunteerism or partnerships.

  • Seamed in Success
    The Seamed in Success award recognizes an exemplary business, organization, community or individual who has made a large impact and added value to the region by highlighting the importance of agriculture.
    Nomination Form

  • Growing in the GreenSeam
    The Growing in the GreenSeam award recognizes an outstanding business that has shown innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and contribution to our vibrant region.
    Nomination Form

E1 Ignite Cup Pitch Competition

Date: May 7, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm


About our Pitch Competition…

If you love the Shark Tank, you’ll love watching local and regional businesses make the case that they have potential!

The E1 Ignite Cup is a startup competition to connect and grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The winner of our pitch competition will be a guaranteed semi-finalist at the MN Cup. Watch startups who are at various stages of their business pitch for a chance to grow their company.

A panel of judges assembled from experienced entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem builders will have a chance to question and advise the entrepreneurs after each pitch, as well as forge connections with local and regional resources.

Thank you to our Judges 
Steve Mercil — Investor, Rain Source Capital
Pam Bishop — E1 Partner, SMIF
Mark Thein — Regional Partner, SBDC
Jessica Berg — Regional Partner, MN Cup
Sam Ziegler — E1 Partner, Greenseam
Traci Downs — E1 Partner, Collider
Jerry Olson — Community Member, Olson HR

Are you a business that wants to pitch?

Do you have a business idea you want to pitch to prospective investors and earn the potential to be an automatic semi-finalist in the MN Cup? 

E1 Ignite Cup Prizes
1st Place Winner
· Automatic Semi-Finalist in MN Cup
· $500 Cash Prize sponsored by Great North Labs
· 30-minute mentoring session from each judge
· Designated spot in Startup School Cohort by ILT Studios
2nd Place Winner
· 30-minute mentoring session from each judge
People's Choice Award 
· To be announced

Deadline to apply: April 22nd at 11:59pm CST
Notification of acceptance: April 24th 
Pitch will be pre-recorded and submitted prior to the event. 
Instructions for video recording and submission will be sent along with notification of acceptance.
The deadline for the video submission is April 30th 11:59 pm CST