Foreign ag attachés visit Wells farm


By Tim Krohn, The Free Press (MN)

Sep 21, 2022


WELLS — Technology, precision farming and conservation were of high interest to a group of agriculture trade officials from around the world as they visited a corn and soybean farm near Wells.


Forty agricultural attachés representing 20 countries were at one of the Johnson family farms Wednesday to get an up close look at the operation from Darrin Johnson.


Each year, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service organizes a trip to showcase United States crops to agricultural attachés and this year brought a group to Minnesota.


Johnson, who serves as vice president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, has had many trade groups visit his farm, including from China, Taiwan and the Philippines, but this is the first time for a visit from the Foreign Ag Service.


There are 99 different FAS locations around the world.


"They just want to learn and see about our farming practices. They want to be able to take it back to the country they're working with to tell them how the American farmer is being as efficient as they can but also using conservation and stewardship practices," Johnson said.


He said that while conservation efforts are important to trade partners, he stresses to visitors that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach.


"Conservation practices are different from one county to the next based on topography, soil types and the crops you're growing. So we tell them about the different practices."


The attachés, who came from France, Australia, Niger, South Korea, Netherlands and many other countries, were particularly interested in the new technologies Johnson and other farmers are using...