Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, June 12, 2000

Gov. Ventura coming to Mohr farm near Glencoe

By Gail Lipe

Glenmark Genetics, owned by John and Bonnie Mohr, will be celebrating June Dairy Month in a different way this year. On June 23 their farm will be open to the public as WCCO radio broadcasts live from one of their barns.

"We try to do something in June to celebrate Dairy Month," said Bonnie Mohr. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

WCCO will begin broadcasting "The Morning Radio Show" at 5 a.m. and will finish at 1 p.m. after the "Noon Hour Ag Show."

One of the highlights will be "Lunch with the Governor," with Gov. Ventura from 11 a.m. to noon.

"This is a great opportunity for the whole county to have a large agriculture station and governor come here," said Bonnie Mohr.

Bonnie Mohr said the planning for the celebration has been in the works for over a year. Last May, Roger Strom from WCCO randomly stopped at the Mohr farm while doing a live crop check in the area.

He asked the Mohrs if they do anything for June Dairy Month and said, "This would be a good place to do June Dairy Day."

The Mohrs thought it would be a great opportunity and began the planning. It was too close to June last year, so they planned for this year.

Dave Larson, a banker that the Mohrs work with, helped with the planning. They worked together to contact the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce and the Glencoe Chamber of Commerce.

Hutchinson's chamber will be serving a breakfast from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., and Glencoe's chamber will be putting on a lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"They are charging $3 to break even on the meals," said Bonnie Mohr.

As the word got out about the celebration, local people wanted to be included. She said even her farm insurance company wanted to get involved.

Things grew to where 25 to 30 local businesses connected to the dairy industry or farming will be represented in booths set up around the farm.

The businesses that set up booths will pay a fee to help cover expenses for the day. The Mohrs said many other companies and organizations also are providing donations to help defray the costs.

"The object is to cover costs and break even," said Bonnie Mohr.

WCCO will be taking care of the entertainment and anything they need to broadcast from the farm, but the Mohrs are responsible for arranging things like garbage removal, oil on the road, portable outhouses and signs.

Bonnie Mohr said when they were looking for a date, Strom suggested doing it on a Friday and inviting the governor. The governor responded that he thought it would be a good promotion.

Linda Welch, the Mohrs' marketing manager, said the original date set for the celebration was June 16. The newsletters announcing the event were at the printer when she got a call from Roger Strom saying that the governors office was asking if the date could be changed because of a conflict.

She had to call the printer and "stop the press" to put the new date on the newsletters.

Bonnie Mohr said her husband will be milking when the broadcasts begin, so people can see a working dairy operation, and 4-H ambassadors will be guiding walking tours around the barn throughout the day. She said they will explain things about the cattle and the barn.

She said they contacted the local Future Farmers of America, and it will be helping to park cars. But, Bonnie Mohr said she hopes people will use the buses that the chambers are providing because parking could be a problem at the farm.

Buses will run from the vacant Cub parking lot in Hutchinson and the Glencoe-Silver Lake High School parking lot in Glencoe.

Other organizations are donating products and time. Seneca is donating the sweet corn for the lunch, and the Minnesota Beef Council is donating the meat for the cheeseburgers.

Hans San Lake Mutual Insurance will be providing free dairy treats and the First District Ag Service in Litchfield is contributing milk, butter and cheese.

Bonnie Mohr said the McLeod County Sheriff's Office has been contacted, and emergency personnel will be on site.

She also said the Princess Kay of the Milky Way will be there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as the regional and local dairy princesses.

She said the celebration includes the community with everyone working together.

"What we get out of it is public relations," said Bonnie Mohr.

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