MN Agriculture: Adam Birr and Minnesota Corn
Day 11 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Adam Birr. Adam is the Executive Director for Minnesota Corn and lives in Shakopee, a suburb of Minneapolis. Adam has been in his current position for one year. Prior to his current position, Adam was the research coordinator at Minnesota Corn. The Minnesota Corn organization is important to farmers. Every corn farmer pays into a checkoff fund, which is used for their benefit. It gives them a bigger voice. When corn farmers work together, great things are the result.
Social Media Sites:
- Website: MNCorn and MinnesotaCornerstone
- Facebook: MinnesotaCorn
- Twitter: MNCorn
- Videos: MN Corn Youtube
- Instagram: MNCorn
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
“I work for Minnesota Corn which is comprised of two organizations, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC), with a shared mission of identifying and promoting opportunities for corn growers while enhancing quality of life.”
How long have you farmed or been in business?
“I have served as executive director for Minnesota Corn for one year. I had joined the organization as the research director in March of 2013. I have been working on issues related to agriculture, particularly around water quality, since I arrived in Minnesota more than 17 years ago to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota.”
Tell me a little about what you grow/raise/produce or service provided.
“Both MCGA and MCR&PC work closely to increase productivity and profitability for corn growers. One of the ways this is accomplished is through investments in third-party research covering a wide range of topics including agronomy, corn utilization, biofuels, livestock, soil fertility, and water quality. Minnesota corn also works on policy issues and consumer perceptions of modern agriculture.”
Where do you sell or provide services to? Who is your end consumer?
“We serve more than 7,300 members of MCGA and more than 25,000 corn farmers in Minnesota that contribute to the checkoff that MCR&PC manages. For your readers who might be unfamiliar with Minnesota’s corn checkoff, here is a brief explanation: For every bushel of corn sold to market in Minnesota, farmers pay a voluntary 1 cent “fee.” This self-assessed fee helps farmers pay for valuable research, connect with consumers, find new uses for corn and open new markets.
Ultimately our end consumer is anyone that utilizes food, feed, fiber, or fuel containing corn as an ingredient.”
What do you love most about farming/business?
“What I love most about working for Minnesota Corn is the variety. No two days are the same and you never know what challenges may lie ahead on any given day. My day might involve visiting with a legislator about a contentious policy issue, participating in the grand opening of a station offering higher blends of ethanol, visiting with researchers about future priorities, and interacting with the general public at an event.”
What is one thing you wish consumers knew about what you do or your farm/business?
“I wish the general public had a better understanding of the practices farmers use to grow corn beyond what they find on social media sites and read in the newspaper. I think it’s wonderful that folks are taking a greater interest in food production, but wish there were more opportunities for them to interact directly with the farmers responsible for that production. I think that is one of our fundamental responsibilities as an organization is to connect consumers with the producers.”
What is one thing about Minnesota that people from other areas do not know about or are missing because they don’t live here?
“Having moved here from Michigan nearly two decades ago, I can attest that people outside of the state are not aware of the diverse landscapes contained within Minnesota’s borders. The diverse geology, soils, and climate is reflected in the cropping systems and farming practices that are used across Minnesota. I never grow tired of traveling throughout the state from the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota to the flat, glacial lake bed of northwestern Minnesota, and points in between, it is readily apparent why we are such a strong agricultural hub globally.”
Read the other people featured in my “30 Days of MN Ag. ”
There are others that are also participating in the 30 Days of Blogging Challenge. Feel free to check these out: