The Minnesota AgriGrowth Council visited Duluth on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19 to meet with northeastern Minnesota’s industry leaders during its Summer Board Retreat. Discussion at the meeting surrounded the important relationship between the state’s agricultural and mineral industries. Kelsey Johnson, President of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA), presented on the ties between the two industries.
“It can be easy to overlook the similarities between grain and taconite,” explained Johnson. “In reality, Minnesota’s agricultural and mineral industries are both commodity-based. They rely on the Port of Duluth/Superior and Minnesota’s road and rail infrastructure to get products where they need to go. Together, these industries have a huge impact on our state and national economy.”
Other presenters included representatives from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Enbridge, BNSF Railway and Minnesota Power. Congressman Pete Stauber also spoke on Friday.
The Minnesota AgriGrowth Council is a nonprofit member organization representing the agriculture and food systems industry. The organization seeks to foster long-term sustainability, competitiveness and business growth for the industry. Attendees of the AgriGrowth Summer Retreat included some of Minnesota’s top agricultural, livestock, dairy and food organizations.
“It was powerful to see representatives from such a wide range of Minnesota industries gathered together to discuss our state’s potential,” continued Johnson. “It’s crucial to understand the affiliation between agriculture and mining – our port has grain silos and taconite piles side by side. If our mining industry struggles, it will affect agricultural shipping. If our agricultural industry struggles, it will affect taconite transport. By working together, we can help propel all of Minnesota’s industries forward.”