2018 Worthington Bio Conference to focus on workforce & talent development – April 5-6

Worthington-Minnesota, USA – The 2018 Worthington Bio Conference starts the evening of April 5th with a social at the Worthington Event Center followed by conference keynote address by Commissioner Ken Peterson, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (DLI). The Minnesota Commissioner of Labor and Industry is expected to share department programs and his vision for what the state of Minnesota can do to support local talent development and workforce training.

In addition to connecting with colleagues and businesses in the animal health and value-added agriculture, you will learn about emerging industrial hemp production and how it may offer growers another venue to generate income and create new opportunities. We are also going to hear from a group of students about their expectations as they enter the labor market, and what communities and employers need to offer for our new graduates to keep them engaged and to help them fulfill their career and professional goals.

On April 6th Dr. Tubon, from Madison Wisconsin, who is administering a national work training program, will kick off discussion involving attendees and representatives from industry professionals about their skilled labor needs. Learns about a private initiative to meet employers talent needs when Dr. James Guenther from Delgado College, New Orleans La and Dr. Kevin Simpson designed and implemented an employer driven training program. Dr. Sandra Porter of Washington State will share her insights with a presentation focusing on how we can build a power house for bio business and value-added agriculture in the region. While solar and renewable energy presentation by Great River Energy and University of Minnesota Extension is designed to share latest industry trends, inform, and highlight the economic potential the sector may bring.

Come join us, connect with business owners, investors, and leaders. Join your colleagues during this unique gathering to share, learn, and build relationships. We also want to connect with you, not just to highlight our core economic competencies, but to build support and new enduring business relationships.

The future in Minnesota is happening now, come see it and be part of it. For full program, to register, and for lodging and venue information check out www.worthington-minnesota.com

MN Renewable Energy Roundtable Focused on Renewable Chemicals – March 14

Looks like a promising event…

Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable
Renewable Chemicals
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
9:00 am-2:30 pm
St. Paul, MN 55114
Register Now!

8:30 a.m.              Registration, refreshments and networking

9:00 a.m.              Welcome and overview

9:20 a.m.              Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Toby Ahrens, National Program Leader, NIFA-USDA “Opportunities with NIFA”

10:05 a.m.           Sun Grant Panel

Moderator:  Dr. Vance Owens, Regional Director, North Central Regional Sun Grant Ctr., SDSU “Sun Grant Funding for Renewable Chemicals”


  • Gregg Johnson, Associate Professor, Dept. of Agronomy & Plant Genetics, Biomass Cropping Systems, Southern Research and Outreach Center-Waseca, University of Minnesota “Feedstock Development for Renewable Chemicals and Other Bioenergy
  • Goutham Vemuri, Chief Technologist, Sasya LLC “Developing Renewable Chemicals from Crop Residues from Biomass Sugars
  • Qi Hua Fan, Associate Professor, Depts. of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University “Energy Storage Options Using Renewable products

11:05 a.m.           Networking Break

11:20 a.m.           Bioeconomy Panel

Moderator:  Rod Larkins, Senior Director of Science and Technology, AURI


  • Brendan Jordan, Vice President, Great Plains Institute, Lead Staff for Bioeconomy Coalition of MN
  • Eric Singsaas, Initiative Director-Wood Products and Bioeconomy, NRRI and Entrepreneur

12:05 p.m.           Lunch

12:55 p.m.           Highlight:  Entrepreneur in Renewable Chemicals

  • Dr. Goutham Vemuri, Vice President of Technology Development, Aemetis Inc.

1:15 p.m.             Financing and Technology Support Panel

Moderator:  Michael Sparby, Senior Project Strategist, AURI


  • Kevin Hennessy, Bioenergy Manager, Ag Marketing and Development Division, MN Department of Agriculture
  • Pat Dillon, Director, MN-SBIR, Minnesota Innovation and Commercialization Consortium; Minnesota High Tech Association

1:55 p.m.             Table Discussion

2:25 p.m.             Wrap Up

“Kids First” Early Childhood Conference March 2-3

“Kids First” Early Childhood Conference
Prairie’s Edge Casino & Convention Center, Granite Falls, MN
Friday, March 2nd: SUIDS/AHT OR CCNI’s “Let’s Go Shopping”
Saturday, March 3rd: “Understanding ACEs” and “Beyond Grit”

Registration: $40.00 (Includes 8 hours of training, light breakfast and lunch)
**Discounted registration rate this year due in part to grants received from DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development) and SWIF (Southwest Initiative Foundation)
Registration must be postmarked by February 22, 2018!
Register today: 320-598-3118

Industrial Hemp Farmers Meeting March 2 in Madison MN

The Lac qui Parle EDA will be hosting a meeting to update and follow-up with those who attended the Frozen Farm Forum and other farmers who are interested in the farming industrial hemp.  We hope to see you there!


  • Provide an update on current applicants in the MN Industrial Hemp Study. ​
  • Update on a hemp processing plant, investors, and goals for acres in our county and region.​
  • Open Discussion: thoughts, concerns, and questions ​

**Light refreshments will be provided

Event:  Industrial Hemp Farmers Meeting
When:   March 2, 2018 at 10am -11:30am
Where:  County Annex Multimedia Room
422 5th Ave, Madison, Mn 56256

Upcoming SBA Training for Minnesota businesses

Group/Economically Disadvantaged/Veteran Owned, Feb. 14, Minneapolis

Bring your own lunch to enjoy, while you learn about this certification process. You will learn about Office of Equity in Procurement and the Small Business Program including certifications for the Targeted Group (TG), Economically Disadvantaged (ED) and Veteran Owned (VO) small businesses. Who qualifies, what the benefits are and how to become certified will also be discussed.

Learn more and register at https://mngov.ecenterdirect.com/events/1200.

Farm Transition and Estate Planning Workshop, Feb. 23, Willmar

Are you struggling with how to transfer your farm business to the next generation?
We, Extension and SCORE, are pleased to invite you to attend a practical and in-depth workshop on farm transition and estate planning.

Learn more and register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-fJaSHV9r5mujGVFPn9cDBT2HhgC68WQYhryX53P2FTUHuA/viewform?c=0&w=1

Entrepreneurial Information Session, Feb. 26, Minneapolis

WomenVenture offers a variety of different services to those planning to start or expand a for-profit business. Learn about the programs WomenVenture offers at their free information session.

Learn more and register at https://www.womenventure.org/services/training/information-session.html.

SBA February Trainings and Events

Great events if you can make time to attend…

Webinar: System for Award Management (SAM) and Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) Registrations, Feb. 6

From layout to data, SAM.gov has made dozens of minor and significant changes. Search queries, NAICS code information, self-certification, etc., are just some of the topics that have been modified in this federal database that, as a government contractor, you are required to be registered in and to keep updated annually. Join this MNPTAC webinar to learn more about the SAM.gov registration process, as well as its changes, along with updates to SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database – your electronic capability statement for the government.

Learn more and Register at https://mngov.ecenterdirect.com/events/1197.

Certification Lunch N Learn – State of MN Targeted Group/Economically Disadvantaged/Veteran Owned, Feb. 14, Minneapolis

Bring your own lunch to enjoy, while you learn about this certification process. You will learn about Office of Equity in Procurement and the Small Business Program including certifications for the Targeted Group (TG), Economically Disadvantaged (ED) and Veteran Owned (VO) small businesses. Who qualifies, what the benefits are and how to become certified will also be discussed.

Learn more and register at https://mngov.ecenterdirect.com/events/1200.

Joint Procurement Meeting hosted by Xcel Energy, Feb. 15, Minneapolis

Organized by the Women’s Business Development Center and North Central Minority Supplier Development Council, this Joint Procurement Meeting will be hosted by Xcel Energy and provide  an opportunity to meet and interact with the local and regional diverse small business community and large corporations, as well as government and not-for-profit institutions and agencies that support supplier diversity.

Learn more and register at https://www.wbdc.org/event/joint-procurement-meeting-hosted-by-xcel-energy/

Lunch & Learn Workshop: Is Women’s Business Enterprise Certification Right For You?, Feb. 22, Minneapolis

Have you been looking for that special something to help you “get in the door” of large corporations? If you are a woman-owned and operated business, that something could be the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification. Attend this WBDC workshop to find out. Ideal participants should be a part of a business that at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by a woman or women, and whose target market includes corporate America.

Learn more and register at https://www.wbdc.org/event/is-certification-right-for-you-lunch-learn-workshop-4/

Becoming Competitive in a Sustainable Marketplace – A Supplier Development Workshop, Feb. 28, Minneapolis

Join the State of Minnesota and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council  to learn how your business can remain competitive in an emerging sustainable and eco-friendly marketplace. This workshop will provide an overview of national sustainable purchasing trends, provide updates on the sustainability goals and specific requirements from the State of Minnesota, and help prepare you to succeed in bidding on future sustainable state contracts.

Learn more and register at https://mngov.ecenterdirect.com/events/1211

Frozen Farm Forum Notes – Preparing for the future of energy independence

Thanks to everyone who attended the Frozen Farm Forum today on Clean Energy. It was a god chance for attendees to learn more about the Minnesota CERTS Program the Minnesota PACE Program. Below are videos of the various presentations:

Clean Energy – Peter Lindstrom from CERTS

Clean Energy – Fritz Ebinger from CERTS

Clean Energy Panel