(News Release from South Central College, North Mankato Campus Foundation)


Robust line-up of six nationally known experts to appear at Ag Symposium

Two- day event held February 9 and April 1 at South Central College

What do an animal handler who inspired an HBO film, a dairy farmer from Wisconsin, an entrepreneur from Iowa and an upbeat futurist from New Mexico all have in common?  They are all featured presenters for the New Tools for New Rules:  An Agricultural Symposium, presented by CHS and hosted at South Central College on February 9

This year’s impressive line-up of speakers includes Dr. Temple Grandin (an animal handling expert), Laura Daniels (an ag advocate), Moe Russell (an ag expert) and Dr. Lowell Catlett (a futurist).  A brief bio of each speaker follows.  “One way producers stay on top of the changing rules is to attend national conferences where the greatest minds in 21st century agriculture share their wisdom and insight,” said Brad Schloesser, Dean of Agriculture at South Central College. “South Central College has attracted six big names in agriculture to our stage, which is a unique local opportunity for area producers and our students to share.”

Developed eight years ago, the Ag Symposium is a professional development opportunity open to all agricultural producers, who want to engage in cutting-edge presentations and discussions.  The event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, 2016 with check-in at 8:00 a.m., and the program to follow starting at 8:30 a.m.  South Central College, located at 1920 Lee Boulevard in North Mankato, MN will host all activities in its John Votca Conference Center.  

New this year, the attendees will be invited back on April 1 for some popular returning keynote speakers from past years: economist, Robert Craven and perennially favorite, Dr. David Kohl. They too, will share their expertise regarding new rules facing 21st century ag producers.

Cost for the two-day symposium is $99 (early bird rate) and $119 for those who register after February 1. All proceeds support ag scholarships, program advancement and general Foundation needs at South Central College, North Mankato Campus. Lunch is included in the ticket price. For more information, contact Tami Reuter at 507-389-7342. For tickets, visit www.southcentral.edu/agsymposium

and click on the registration link or call 507-389-7203.

In addition to CHS, event sponsors include CFS, AgStar Financial Services, Crystal Valley, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Radio Mankato, CliftonLarsonAllen, Dupont Pioneer, ISG,   Blethen Gage & Krause, Enlist, Minnesota Pork Board, MinnStar Bank, Mosaic, Cargill, Protein Sources, Minnesota Corn Growers, Snell, UFC, and United Prairie Bank.


Speaker Bios:

Lowell Catlett, Ph.D.

Lowell Catlett, Ph.D., a futurist with positive and upbeat predictions, is an enthralling and spellbinding presenter. His unique perspective of emerging technologies prepares us to anticipate coming changes, and to deal winning hands when the deck is being continually reshuffled.  He awakens our awareness to human potential even in changing times and shifting terrain.

Lowell is a Regents Professor in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and

Extension Economics and the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.

He is the author of numerous books and articles and won the university’s highest award to a professor, the Westhafer Award. He works nationally and internationally with corporations and organizations doing futuristic planning concerning the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.


Laura Daniels

Laura Daniels is an agriculture advocate and consultant who delivers pro-ag and motivational speeches across the country. A graduate of UW-Madison, she uses social media each day to spread pro-agriculture messages. A wife, mother, and farmer, she serves as General Manager in charge of day-to-day operations at Heartwood Farm in Cobb, WI. She provides consulting services in the areas of team building, employee management, and dairy cattle nutrition.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

Dr. Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and she has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals.

She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age two she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

Dr. Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974 she was employed as Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975 she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989 and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University. 

Dr. Grandin is also a respected name in in the autism community.  Grandin will provide a special presentation on her personal experiences with autism on February 9th at 6:30 p.m.  A limited number of seats are still available.  Discounted tickets can be purchased until Feb. 1 for $20.  For more information about this event, visit www.southcentral.edu/autism.


Maurice (Moe) Russell

Moe Russell is the cofounder and president of Russell Consulting Group, a leading provider of marketing and financial advice to crop and livestock producers. With its proven model of risk discovery, planning and analysis, Russell Consulting helps its clients reach their farm’s financial goals and desired profit marks. The company’s benchmarking data for Machinery and Labor cost per acre is valued by producers throughout North America.

Moe is a frequent business speaker on motivation, planning and entrepreneurship. He developed a webinar series on commodity marketing and writes for Farm Journal magazine.

Dr. David Kohl
Dr. David Kohl received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. Dr. Kohl has travelled over 6 million miles throughout his professional career. He has conducted more than 5,000 workshops and seminars for agricultural groups such as bankers, Farm Credit, FSA, and regulators, as well as producer and agribusiness groups. He has published four books and over 500 articles on financial and business-related topics in journals, extension, and other popular publications. Kohl regularly writes for Farm Journal, Top Producer, Ag Lender, and Soybean Digest.

Robert Craven
Robert is an Extension Economist, Farm Management and Director of the Center for Farm Financial Management. Areas of specialty include business management for farmers and credit analysis for agricultural lenders with emphasis on financial planning and analysis. His work for the Center has focused on development of FINPACK. He also has worked to develop the crop marketing programs at the Center, i.e., “Winning the Game” series of workshops. He also played a key role in the development of the National Risk Management Education Library.