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LANSING, MI -- Wheat growers, now is the time to register for the annual meeting!  The Michigan Wheat Program’s 5th Annual Winter Grower Meeting offers a free day of programming, developed specifically to improve productivity and profitability for the state’s wheat farmers.

One of the highlights will be a panel discussion of Michigan’s two top-five winners in the National Wheat Yield Contest, which will be moderated by Michigan State University wheat specialist Dennis Pennington.  Gordon Briggs, wheat farmer from Scottville (Mason County), took 2nd place nationally in the irrigated winter wheat category.  He will be joined by David Eickholt of Chesaning (Shiawassee County), who finished 5th in the dryland winter wheat category.  They will share the practices on their farms that have helped them increase yields.

“I look forward to hearing from these outstanding wheat farmers,” said David Milligan, chairman of the Michigan Wheat Program, who will open the Annual Winter Grower Meeting in Frankenmuth.  “I think most Michigan wheat growers will take home several tips they may want to try on their farms.”

In addition to the farmers’ panel, the March 14 event has keynote presentations by Ohio-based farm risk consultant Mike Mock, and Minneapolis wheat farmer, ag sustainability expert and former General Mills grain executive Steven Peterson.

The 2017 Annual Winter Grower Meeting is set for Tuesday, March 14, in the Composer Room, Bavarian Inn Lodge, 1 Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth.  Registration, a continental breakfast and a tradeshow begin at 8:15 a.m. with the program kick-off at 9 a.m. Registration is now live at miwheat.org at the top of the “What’s Hot” column on the left edge of the page.

Mock, principle in Mock Consulting, Inc., of Swanson, Ohio, has enjoyed a 40-year career with The Andersons, most recently as a grain merchandiser.  He is particularly well-versed in helping growers develop risk management plans that blend high-quality crop insurance tools with a diversified marketing approach.

Peterson understands both sides of the sustainability discussion given his role as a farmer and buyer for General Mills. He will enlighten listeners as he explains this new sustainability buzzword and what it really means for those involved in the food system from the store to the farm field.

The Annual Winter Grower Meeting will also have …

• A variety of industry displays in a trade show;

• A presentation on “Maximizing Profitability by Selecting the Best Wheat Genetics for Your Farm,” by MSU wheat breeder Dr. Eric Olson;

• A presentation on the disease challenges growers faced in 2016 by Martin Nagelkirk and Dr. Marty Chilvers;

• Dennis Pennington’s survey of grower needs and focuses for 2017; and

• A presentation on “MI Wheat Program Disease Control Work” and an update on the wheat check-off program by Michigan Wheat Program executive director Jody Pollok-Newsom.

There is no cost to attend the Michigan Wheat Program’s 2017 Annual Winter Grower Meeting, but advance registration is required to ensure the lunch count, adequate seating and handouts.  Last year about 300 people attended the event.

Register online at www.miwheat.org under “What’s Hot” or by phone by calling:  888-WHEAT01 (888-943-2801).

The Michigan Wheat Program is funded by nearly 8,000 farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan’s 83 counties. The Michigan Wheat Program board seeks to promote the state’s wheat industry by funding and supporting the strategic priorities of wheat farmers working with input suppliers, seed producers, millers, end users and consumers.  Research on wheat production practices and grower education has been an early priority for the organization.

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