Native Information: Chamber Ag Enterprise Luncheon returns March 22 (3/10/23)


LE MARS — The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee is proud to announce the traditional Ag Business Luncheon is making a return.

The Ag Business Luncheon took a three-year hiatus mainly due to COVID-19 concerns. However, Chamber Ag Committee officials wanted to bring back the event, and have scheduled it for Wednesday, March 22. The event will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center upper level.

Janelle Johnson, chair of the Chamber Ag Committee, said the Chamber Ag Business Luncheon falls on National Agriculture Week.

“The Ag Business Luncheon is held to recognize and show appreciation to Plymouth County’s farmers, livestock producers, and the various agriculture businesses’ contributions to the local community,” Johnson said. “All of Plymouth County depends on the local agriculture economy. Plymouth County ranks in the top 10 of the state for pork production, cattle-on-feed, corn and soybean production, and sheep production. We are fortunate to have three major employers within Le Mars that depend on agriculture and produce food products,” she said.

The day’s events will begin with a Chamber Coffee at 9:30 a.m., hosted by Plymouth County Farm Bureau Federation.

Following the chamber coffee at 10:30 a.m., will be the morning speaker, Sarah Carlson. She is the Senior Programs and Member Engagement Director for Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Carlson serves as an agronomist on the Practical Farmers of Iowa staff and helps transfer agronomic research about cover crops and small grains through supply chain projects. She works one-on-one with farmers, agronomists, food and beverage staff and non-operator landowners, and seeks to reduce barriers to adopting more acres of continuous living cover on farmland across the Midwest.

Carlson is expected to share how her organization helps farmers.

A banquet-style lunch consisting of beef and pork by Homeplate Catering of Granville, will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Following lunch, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is scheduled as the keynote speaker. Naig will talk about Iowa agriculture opportunities and potential.

Naig was elected as the 15th Iowa Secretary of Agriculture in November 2018. As the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Naig is focused on expanding Iowa’s markets, promoting careers in agriculture, and improving water quality and land stewardship. He previously served as the Deputy Secretary at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

As Secretary, he is committed to lead efforts to expand economic opportunities for Iowans and is an advocate on behalf of the hard-working men and women who keep us fed and fueled. Attracting and retaining talent in Iowa agriculture is a reoccurring topic during his 99 county visits and Naig believes we need to continue to engage young people and encourage them to pursue rewarding careers in agriculture.

The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee will recognize each of the county’s FFA chapters, as well as present the annual FFA scholarship award to one county FFA member.

Door prizes will also be presented during the event.

Tickets for the event are $15 per person and can be purchased at many Le Mars banks, or at the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce office. They will also be sold at the door.

In addition to hosting the Ag Business Luncheon, the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee hosts elementary students in the autumn for a farm tour where they witness a sheep farm, dairy farm, hog farm, and beef cattle farm. The Chamber Ag Committee is also responsible for the agriculture education exhibit “A Round the farm at the Barn” inside the famous Round Barn during the Plymouth County Fair.


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