AgriGrowth Hosts 2021 MN Ag & Food Summit Welcoming Governor Tim Walz; Experts in Cyber Security, the Ag Economy and Politics

November 5, 2021

AgriGrowth Also Introduces New Special Project on Ag Talent and Workforce; David Preisler, CEO of MN Pork Producers, Wins 2021 Distinguished Service Award

Saint Paul, MINN.—On November 4, 2021, AgriGrowth, a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization representing the agriculture and food industry, held its annual Minnesota Ag & Food Summit at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event brought together leaders in agriculture and food to talk about the top issues impacting the industry.

AgriGrowth is a convener, bringing together agri-food leaders, policymakers, thought leaders and experts to talk about how we can champion our industry and advocate for a strong agri-food economy in Minnesota. This year’s Ag & Food Summit was an amazing success, and it was wonderful to gather in person to celebrate our industry. A sincere thank you to our speakers, sponsors, guests and to everyone who helped make the Summit a success,” said Tamara Nelsen, Executive Director of AgriGrowth.

Key Summit highlights include:

  • Governor Tim Walz joined the event over the lunch hour for his State of the State of Agriculture address
  • Experts from the University of Minnesota, Department of Homeland Security, Cargill and General Mills discussed how cyber security may be the next big industry disruptor and how companies can prepare
  • Dr. John Newton, Chief Economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Ag, Nutrition and Forestry shared his 2022 economic and policy outlook for agriculture  
  • The launch of a new special project on Ag Talent and Workforce led by AgriGrowth focused on finding, attracting and retaining top talent for Minnesota’s robust agri-food industry

One of the biggest issues facing our sector is finding and retaining top talent. Our industry must do a better job of highlighting the diverse and rewarding career options in agriculture, helping us find more skilled workers to meet the demands of our industry. Promoting careers in agriculture, food and natural resources will help us stay on the cutting edge and tackle challenges from protecting our environment to feeding a growing global population,” said Nelsen. “I am excited to see how this project will grow, expand and connect experts in our industry to the talent of tomorrow. AgriGrowth, and our partners in this effort, look forward to working directly to solve member challenges in this area.”                                                                  

Finally, Minnesota Pork Producers Association CEO David Preisler was presented with this year’s Distinguished Service Award. Since 1968, it has been an AgriGrowth tradition to present the Distinguished Service Award for unique service and significant contributions to strengthening food systems and agriculture in Minnesota.

I also want to congratulate this year’s Distinguished Service Award winner, David Preisler. Nominated by his peers for his contributions to the agri-food industry, Dave deserves this special recognition. We are thankful for Dave’s leadership and contribution to a strong agri-food industry in Minnesota!” added Nelsen.

You can learn more about AgriGrowth, its members and the Ag & Food Summit at


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