North Mankato, Minnesota - “Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)…Why Should I Care?” is the theme of the 32nd Annual Rural Legislative Forum on Thursday, December 4 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at South Central College, 1920 Lee Blvd., North Mankato. Forum sponsors include: Minnesota Farm Bureau, South Central College’s Agri-Business Department and Farm Business Management Program, Region Nine Development Commission and University of Minnesota Extension.   
Registration cost is $10.00 per person, which includes a grilled pork chop dinner and all printed materials. Advance registration is requested prior to December 4. To register, or for more Forum information, contact the Blue Earth County UM Extension Office by phone at (507) 304-4325, or by e-mail at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In April 2014 the EPA issued a proposal to define the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Under the Clean Water Act. Ag producers and communities have questions about the proposal, the EPA has extended its comment period twice, and the US House has passed a bill to stop the proposal.  This Forum will address details of the WOTUS proposal and its potential effects on agriculture and communities.
The keynote speaker will be Don Parrish, Senior Director-Regulatory Relations, with the American Farm Bureau Federation.  AFBF has been highly involved in providing information about the proposal and its ramifications.  The Response Panel will include Drew Campbell, Blue Earth County Commissioner, and member of the AMC Environment & Natural Resources Committee, Warren Formo, Executive Director of the MN Ag Water Resource Center, and Lawrence Sukalski, member of the American Soybean Assn. Board and farmer from Martin County, and a representative from the Minnesota DNR Waters Division. Kent Thiesse, Vice President of MinnStar Bank, will moderate the panel discussion.
US Congressman Tim Walz is the invited dinner speaker for the Rural Legislative Forum. Another highlight of the evening session will be a State Legislative Panel from 6:45-8:00 p.m. State senators and representatives from south central Minnesota have been invited to address audience questions related to the Forum’s theme and other key issues for the 2015 state legislative session. Jeremy Geske, Watershed Education Specialist with the MN Ag Water Resources Center, will moderate the legislative panel discussion. 
County Farm Bureau organizations from South Central Minnesota will sponsor refreshments during the afternoon registration. Sponsors for the dinner include Minnesota Agri-Women; Minnesota Farmers Union; Community Bank in Amboy, Mankato and Vernon Center; MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal and Mankato; Nicollet County Bank in St. Peter; First National Bank Minnesota in Mankato and St. Peter; United Prairie Bank in Mankato; Bremer Bank in Mankato, and AgStar Financial Services. Other Forum sponsors include MN Corn Grower’s Assn., the MN Soybean Grower’s Assn, the MN Pork Producers Assn., and DuPont Pioneer.
For additional information about this press release or the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture, please contact Sara Hewitt, Project Coordinator for the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture at 507-389-7276 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Category: General Information
Published: Monday, 24 November 2014 14:43