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Annual Bioscience Conference nears

WORTHINGTON -- An employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been tapped to be one of the primary speakers at the annual Bioscience Conference next month.

Molly Jahn, acting under secretary for research, education and economics with the U.S.D.A., will be a keynote speaker during the second day's general session of the conference, which is scheduled for March 25-26 on the Worthington campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. She will also be a featured speaker during a scheduled tour of Minnesota Soybean Processors.

"This was a 100-percent cold call," said Glenn Thuringer, manager of Worthington Regional Development Corp., which hosts the conference, of securing Jahn to visit. "It was based on how good a job of Gale Buchanan (who was in Jahn's post previously) did three or four years ago at our conference. With a new presidential administration, we thought it would be nice to have a new perspective from that same position."

Thuringer explained that this year's conference will again include tours of area businesses, a response to popular demand. Conference attendees will have the option of touring JBS, Prairie Holdings Group and Minnesota Soybean Processors on the Friday morning of the conference.

"We'll be doing some company impact and company information presentations, and then we're going to include a featured speaker at each one of the tours to talk about the industry from another perspective, perhaps at international, national and state levels -- and how the local company fits in on those different levels," Thuringer said.

Animal health and renewable energy will again be focal points of the conference, Thuringer stated, with breakout sessions scheduled for both days. Among the sessions scheduled: "Bio: 101 -- Defining and Enabling Knowledge Clusters," "Animal Health," "Renewable Energy: Policy and Legislation Impacting the Industry," "New Technologies and Ventures" and "Utilizing Education to Build a Stronger Rural Economy."

"We're expanding some of the other areas, and the topics of animal health and renewable energy were received with such success last year that we now have more specific topics with fewer speakers addressing some key points," Thuringer said. "There are a lot of things in here that are some of the more popular topics from years past. ... We're going to try to accommodate the most popular sessions from the past five years because this is the sixth annual conference."

Thuringer noted that high-ranking officials from both South Dakota and Minnesota post-secondary schools have committed to participating and serving as leaders in the conference.

To register for the Bioscience Conference or obtain more information, contact the WREDC office at 372-5515 or visit

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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