MORGAN, Minn. — Day two of Minnesota Farmfest 2021 was highlighted by a vaccine clinic and a visit from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.
The annual show, hosted by IDEAg Group and held at the historic Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls, Minnesota, runs from Aug. 3-5.
At this year's event, IDEAg Group partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health to bring a one-day vaccine clinic to Farmfest.
A mobile vaccine clinic was set up on the grounds for the entirety of Wednesday's show. Vaccinations took place inside a metro mobility bus and a tented waiting area was outside so that vaccinated individuals could be monitored for 15 minutes following the injection. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were offered.
Niki Jones, marketing manager for IDEAg Group, said that farmers and other Farmfest attendees come to the show for a number of different reasons, one of which is safety and wellness.
"We want to keep them healthy, because they provide the food that feeds the world," said Jones of offering the vaccine clinic. "We thought that that was a good venue to do it in case people are wanting to get their vaccine but haven't yet."
Gov. Tim Walz addressed vaccinations in his keynote address to a packed crowd in the Wick Building at Farmfest.
"Trust me when I say this — nobody hates the damn masks more than me," said Walz.
The governor urged attendees to not let the virus infect communities once again like it did during the peak of the pandemic.
"If you haven't been vaccinated, get vaccinated so you can vote against me next November," he said. "That will keep you alive if you do that.”
Walz was also on hand at Wednesday's Farmfest show to announce Minnesota's new agricultural license plate.
"We're really proud to announce that the state of Minnesota, starting next year, will have a specialized license plate for FFA and 4-H," Walz said. "With proceeds going back to the organizations."
The new specialized license plate will allow Minnesotans a way to celebrate agriculture while providing financial support 4-H and FFA programs across the state. The design of the new plates will be inspired by the ideas submitted from members of the two organizations.
Val Aarsvold, Minnesota FFA Foundation executive director, said the organization is "excited that students will help design the new plate," which will celebrate agriculture while allowing state residents to invest in students through the Minnesota FFA Foundation and Minnesota 4-H Extension.
FFA and 4-H members are encouraged to submit their designs as part of the process and one design will be chosen per chapter or club.
Contest organizers say creativity is encouraged and the image should depict the lands and activities related to agriculture in Minnesota. The deadline to submit designs is Oct. 1.