UMC, Minnesota Department of Ag, Northern Crops Institute and MN Wheat Growers team up to spread Hoiberg’s message

    The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is helping get the word out about Dennis Hoiberg, a dynamic speaker from Australia who is in Minnesota and spoke at the University of Minnesota Crookston Nov. 28.

    Mark Jirik, director of Northern Crops Institute, is coordinating Dennis’ visit, with support from Dave Torgerson at MN Wheat Growers. Hoiberg has more than 35 years of experience in regional and rural communities, helping them cope with change – at the personal, family, business and community level.    

    Jirik said tapping into Hoiberg’s expertise is a tremendous opportunity.    

     “About ten years ago, when working for Cargill in Australia, I was asked to present to our buyers about current commodity markets and our outlook,” both of which weren’t good,” Jirik recalled. “Immediately after me was a speaker talking about ‘resiliency and well-being,’ an idea that I literally rolled my eyes at.      

    “Australia at the time was at the end of a long drought, and our buyers were dealing on a daily basis with farmers who were under enormous stress. That stress was being transferred to our employees,” Jirik continued. “My perceptions were shattered in Dennis’ first minutes. He provided real-life, common-sense approaches to dealing with hardships and suffering in a very orderly way that challenged many of my assumptions. In that one half-day workshop, I was converted from a skeptic to an outright believer in the power of mental resiliency and well-being.”    

    Hoiberg has worked with the grains industry in Australia, local and global leaders, and agribusiness and banking companies that serve remote, regional, and rural communities throughout Australia and New Zealand. He recognizes all the struggles farmers and agribusinesses in the Midwest are facing.