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Minnesota State Fair Celebrates New AgStar Arena

The Minnesota State Fair recently announced the opening of AgStar Arena, a new equine and livestock facility on the State Fairgrounds.

Paul DeBriyn, president and CEO of AgStar Financial Services; Dave Frederickson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; and Jerry Hammer, general manager of the State Fair, led a group of project donors and community members in a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday. This ceremony marked the start of the Minnesota Horse Expo.

"What an exciting day for agriculture," stated Paul DeBriyn, president and CEO of AgStar Financial Services. "We are proud to celebrate excellence in agriculture. Supporting the Minnesota State Fair, FFA and 4-H and their efforts to bring agricultural opportunities to young people; and encouraging youth to consider a career in this industry is important to all of us at AgStar."

AgStar Arena, a 27,000 square foot facility, will be used during the State Fair by 4-H, FFA and State Fair open class exhibitors, complementing activities at the Lee and Rose Warner Coliseum and the Horse and Cattle Barns. It is also available for extended seasonal use for equine and livestock shows. The arena is located on Judson Avenue east of the Horse Barn and replaces the 1960s Judging Arena and Horse Annex.

The arena is named for AgStar Financial Services in recognition of their leadership gift. Other major funding was provided by American Foods Group, Minnesota Horse Council, Davisco Foods Intl., Mills Fleet Farm, and Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association.

"It's important for all of us at AgStar to sponsor a project where we can tell the story of agriculture. AgStar Arena is a place where people from all walks of life can learn the about the profound impact agriculture makes on our daily lives. It's time to construct a bridge between consumers and the agriculture community, and this is the ideal place to do it," said DeBriyn.

"We are delighted to add this impressive and much-needed facility to the State Fair's livestock complex. Many thanks to our good friends at AgStar for their generosity in helping the State Fair fulfill its mission of presenting the best in Minnesota agriculture," said Jerry Hammer, general manager of the State Fair.

The Minnesota State Fair Foundation 501(c)(3) has administered the arena fundraising campaign. Contributions may be sent to the State Fair Foundation at 1265 Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul, MN 55108 or online at Donors making gifts of at least $300 are honored with personalized recognition pavers in Star Plaza at the public entrance of the arena.

About AgStar:

AgStar Financial Services, ACA, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., employs more than 600 full-time team members. The company is part of the national Farm Credit System and has a public mission to serve 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, and dairy as well as bio-energy industries.