Thank You

Thank you to all those who attended the 36th Annual Rural Legislative Forum, “The Truth About Food.” We had the honored to have radio personality, Chip Flory, Host of AgriTalk and AgriTalk After the Bell as the Master of Ceremonies. We were also joined by keynote speaker Harry Stine, CEO of Stine Seed Company. As a jack of all trades, Stine excels as an innovator, entrepreneur and farmer, all while running the world’s largest private seed company.

Attendees had the opportunity to have candid conversations with key officials, industry leaders and agriculture experts. 

December 2018 Speakers


Chip joined Pro Farmer as a floor reporter for Futures World News in January 1988 after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Ag Journalism. He spent 3 years reporting from the floors of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as Bureau Chief for FWN.

Chip moved to the Pro Farmer headquarters in 1991 where he started as Electronic Services Editor. With Pro Farmer, he has been Sr. Market Analyst, General Manager, Editor of the company’s flagship newsletter and is now Editorial Director.

Chip is also a host of Farm Journal Media’s two daily radio talk shows, AgriTalk and AgriTalk After the Bell.

More about Chip Flory


Joe Martin was appointed by the Trump Administration to serve as the state executive director of the Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) in November 2017.

Martin grew up on a diversified crop, livestock and horticulture farm in Benton County, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in political science.

Over the course of his career, he has served as the director of government relations for Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, director of congressional relations for American Farm Bureau Federation, assistant commissioner of Minnesota Department of Agriculture, executive director of Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association and the communications manager for DuPont Pioneer’s Northern Business Unit. Martin also worked as a private consultant on a variety of agricultural issues and projects, ranging from sustainability to workforce development.


Harry Stine, CEO, Stine Seed Company, is synonymous with many titles – innovator, businessman, entrepreneur – but the title holding the most significance to him is a farmer. Raised on the family property in Dallas County, Iowa, Harry graduated from Central Dallas High School and then McPherson College in Kansas. In 1964, he joined his father’s soybean cleaning business in Adel, Iowa.

Harry’s interest in research and seed breeding started when he found some unusual soybean plants in one of the company fields. He saw the value and profit opportunities that breeding, developing and growing newer, higher-yielding soybean varieties would have for his company and farmers. While yield checking the soybean lines, he came to understand what a conventional breeding program could bring to the soybean industry and growers.

More about Harry Stine


James Lee Hagedorn is an American politician from the state of Minnesota. A Republican, he is a member-elect to the United States House of Representatives for Minnesota’s 1st congressional district.

More about Jim Hagedorn


Jeanne Poppe is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), she represents District 27B, which includes all or portions of Dodge, Freeborn, and Mower counties in the southeastern part of the state. She is also an educator and counselor at Riverland Community College, with campuses in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna.

More about Jeanne Poppe


Gene P. Pelowski, Jr. is Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, he represents District 28A, which includes Winona County in southeastern Minnesota. He was also a teacher at Winona Senior High School in Winona.

More about Gene P. Pelowski


Paul M. Torkelson is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represents District 16B, which includes all or portions of Brown, Redwood and Renville counties in the southwestern part of the state.

More about Paul Torkelson

The Rural Legislative Forum has a long and rich history of focusing on key policy topics, as well as connecting community leaders with their elected officials to discuss issues affecting our farms and local communities.

Kent ThesseSenior Vice President MinnStar Bank
December 2018 Rural Legislative Forum Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

Dinner Sponsor

Reception Sponsor

Badge Sponsor

Program Sponsor

Table Sponsors

Student Participation Supported by CLA Foundation

Media Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors