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UGUIDE @ 2023 Pheasant Fest

February 15, 2023 by

Minneapolis is ground zero for Pheasant Fest 2023.  Bloomington MN is where Pheasant Fest began in 2003. This is Pheasants Forever National Convention and it is one of the largest conventions on conservation in general.  Minneapolis is also ground zero for me.  It is where I was born and called home for more than 56 years.  My wife and I moved from Minnesota to our farm in Charles Mix County South Dakota in January of 2019.  

I bought ground in South Dakota in 2002 and had been commuting back and forth from then up until the time we moved.  We left before Covid-19 and George Floyd made the headlines. There is a stark contrast to the way South Dakota is run and the way Minnesota is run.  Is it safe to say "things have changed"?  It will be interesting to see what downtown Minneapolis is like.  I used to work downtown for 6 years in the early 2000's.  It was a good experience. Downtown had a lot of good energy as people would say.

Runnings Farm and Fleet had a big presence at Pheasant Fest in Omaha last year but they said they were not interested in participating at the Minneapolis show due to the changes since Covid and George Floyd.  That's a big deal.

I have attended this event since its beginnings in 2003 at the Bloomington Radisson.  I mainly keyed in on the habitat seminars and have learned a ton.  Now I just go to network and influence, or be influenced.  The show has come a long way and PF has done a great job to meet its market.

With the passing of Covid and George Floyd, the next big social agenda item seems to be Climate Change.  Also known as Global Warming due to man's production of CO2 or Anthropogenic Carbon.  The Green New Deal promises to stem the effects of disastrous global warming by reversing the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the carbon spewing from the burning of fossil fuels.

Some of the very best carbon stores, or sinks, are forest and native warm season grass prairie like that found in CRP (Conservation Reserve Program).  The hottest ticket in the green new deal is SAF or Sustainable Aviation Fuel.  SAF is planned to be the main source of jet fuel by 2050 and promises to return zero carbon to the airline industry.  

In order to replace the current fossil fuel, massive amounts of ethanol would be required.  There is talk that the only option is to tap into the 20+ million acres of CRP deployed on the landscape currently.  We are sequestering a ton of carbon with these acres and tearing them up seems to defeat the purpose.  Pheasants need grass acres for production as well as many other species of wildlife.  Is carbon really the problem with climate change anyway?

If you've noticed inflation lately you might observe that the beginnings of the green new deal are very expensive with not a great deal of return on investment.

The next newly negotiated Farm Bill will tell us a lot about where the focus is for conservation and pheasants.  Pheasants Forever has its work cut out for it as usual.  We need to see our allocation of conservation acres on American soils increase dramatically.