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Producers and exhibitors brave the cold to attend the 2011 Mid-American Alfalfa Expo

Published on 11 February 2011
Mid-American Alfalfa Expo

Although the temperatures outside were cold, those who braved the elements found much to benefit from at the Mid-America Alfalfa Expo held February 1st and 2nd in Kearney, Nebraska.

Exhibitors displayed the latest in seed information, irrigation, fertilization, planting and harvesting equipment and forage supplies. And, various industry professionals gave presentations on topics of interest to forage producers.

Lanny Daise of TekCollect, Inc spoke about collecting on past due accounts. He stressed the importance of aging, as the longer an account is past due, the harder it is to collect the amount due.

Mid-American Alfalfa Expo trade show

He also emphasized that granting credit to a client should be treated as a privilege and not a right, noting that the days of the "handshake contract" are gone.

Members of the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association shared information about their organization and the benefits of being a member.

The group serves as a network for producers to learn from each other, as well as helping growers to market their hay to over 21 different states.

When one of the speakers was unable to make the event due to bad weather conditions, an impromptu panel of seed industry representatives held a question/answer period about Roundup Ready Alfalfa.

Mid-American Alfalfa Expo

Producers in attendance were generally supportive of the recent USDA decision to deregulate without conditions, but those opposed to the decision were also able to voice their opionions.

Micheal Rethwisch, a University of Nebraska Extension agent from Butler county, reported on research they have been doing over the past three years with irrigation in alfalfa.

Using soil measurements of available moisture, along with figures for evapotranspiration, the studies showed that the level of soil moisture needed for optimum alfalfa production in Nebraska are considerably different than the previous studies that have been done in California and other locations.

Mid-American Alfalfa Expo

The seminar sessions were rounded out with a producer panel featuring two successful Nebraska forage producers that have each found their own niche in the market.

Several contests and awards were given during the expo. Jeremy Row of Shickley was the recipient of a $1,000 College Scholarship awarded by the Association. 

The annual hay contest was sponsored by WL Alfalfa and this year’s winner was Neil Wiedel of Hebron, Nebraska.

Second place was Steve & Scott Rice of Wilsonville, Nebraska, third place was David Brhel of Denton, Nebraska and fourth place was David Bryan of Osceola, Nebraska.

In addition to the hay contest, there was a photo contest with many great entries. Placing first was Erica Wood of Bellwood, Nebraska, second was Rick Miller of Bayard, Nebraska and third place was Jeff Eickhoff of Albion, Nebraksa. And, Martin Freed of Loomis, Nebraska was given the "Producer of the Year" award. 

A highlight of the event was the fund-raising auction with items donated by the exhibitors. Over $55,000, which will help the organization continue to operate in the coming year, was raised by the generous donations and bids alike.

For more information about the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association, contact Executive Director Barb Kinnan by e-mail: or phone: (800) 743-1649.  FG

PHOTO 1:  Producers participate in a question/answer period about Roundup Ready Alfalfa.

PHOTO 2: Exhibitor booths displayed a variety of forage equipment and supplies.

PHOTO 3: Attendees enjoy appetizers and wait for the start of the fundraiser auction.

PHOTO 4: One of the highlights of the auction, "Knotty Betty" waits to be auctioned off. The winning bidder gets to take her on a field trip to their operation and the following year provides a slide show of the adventures. All photos by FG Editor Lynn Olsen.