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CLC Staples campus hosts first Ag & Energy Expo

Dave Frederickson, state commissioner of agriculture, talked with Dr. Larry Lundblad, president of Central Lakes College, at the first Ag and Energy Expo, held on the Staples campus of CLC.1 / 4
Photo provided The Central Lakes Ag and Energy Center and CLC Diesel Mechanics Program demonstrated their biodiesel engine fueled by camelina oil. Students Curtis Barrett (center) of Staples and Marty Christiansen of Merrifield talked with David Winkelman of Brainerd, an energy innovator using and producing several alternative power sources.2 / 4
Ev Johnson of Cushing was among vendors exhibiting farm and energy-related products at the inaugural Ag & Energy Expo at Central Lakes College in Staples. She co-created "Life on the Farm," an award-winning board game centered on money management, which she said 250,000 have purchased.3 / 4
Randall Reed of Ohio State University, was a guest speaker on soil management and other farm-related issues at the expo. His visit coincided with an evening performance as Will Rogers at a Staples arts venue.4 / 4

The Staples campus of Central Lakes College hosted nearly 150 at the first Ag & Energy Expo Feb. 18, a free event that included farm and conservation messages and a free lunch.

Randall Reeder of Ohio State University discussed soil management, food/agricultural and biological engineering, water quality, and other current topics regarding trends in agriculture.

Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture, opened the afternoon portion of the event which included breakout sessions on crop insurance, conservation stewardship, wind energy considerations, nutrient management, solar applications, and energy crop opportunities.

Staples-Motley High School students attended and demonstrated their fuel-efficient vehicle.

The event was co-sponsored by CLC and Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank of Wadena, Staples, and Long Prairie.

Among the 13 vendors in the Exhibit Hall were several companies emphasizing conservation and natural resource stewardship. They came from as far as Wisconsin, and a number were from the Twin Cities.

"We were pleasantly surprised by the turnout and heard a lot of interest in building upon the first event to host an even bigger and better expo next year," said Del Lecy, associate dean of entrepreneurial development at CLC.

Lecy said that an oilseed press vendor from Wisconsin came to the event and discussed the CLC pressing process with camelina grown at the Ag and Energy Center.

College representatives at the event included President Dr. Larry Lundblad; Jeff Wig, dean of career and technical programs and Staples campus; Ag and Energy Director Robert Schafer; Farm Business Management instructors Bob Rick, Keith Olander, and Nathan Converse; and Lecy.

Dick Joerger, director for agriculture and business program coordination, presented the Office of the Chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.