Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Farm Families of the Year Announced

According to a press release I received from the University of Minnesota Extension, seventy-six families from around the state, one from each participating county, have recently been named a “2012 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.


From their news release:

The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 9 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Profiles of the 2012 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website at http://mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu.

“Farm families and agriculture are a major driver of Minnesota’s economy and the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these outstanding families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”

Families were selected by their local county Extension committees for having demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture.

Farmfest runs Aug. 7-9 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 7 and 8, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9. Admission is $10 per person, and those 18 and under are admitted free. More information on Farmfest is available atwww.ideaggroup.com/farmfest.

The diversity of Minnesota family farms can be seen by looking at a sample of the 2012 honorees:

Greg Booth and Vickie Kettlewell of Cass County

Sunup Ranch began near Osseo, Minn. in 1950. In 1993, Greg and Vickie Booth began managing the ranch. Today, they have beef cattle, a mare herd, and sell registered Quarter Horses. The family takes the horses to homes all over the world, from the U.S. to Canada to Mexico to Germany to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain and Panama.

Oberton Honey Farm of Morrison County

Oberton Honey Farm operates 2,500 colonies of honeybees, producing honey and beeswax in central Minnesota. The bees are placed at 85 locations in Morrison, Todd, Stearns and Cass counties.  During the winter months, the bees are used to pollinate almond trees in California. 

Dave and D.J. Roeser of Ramsey County

Garden Fresh Farms of Maplewood has proven that urban agriculture is sustainable in a warehouse environment. Dave and D.J. Roeser focus on family urban farm growing and selling produce to the community, and manufacturing agriculture equipment for growing produce in warehouses. They also contribute fresh produce to the local food shelf weekly. 

Joe and Pat DeGrood Bros. of Rice County

The DeGrood Bros. third-generation farm was established in 1931. Today the DeGrood brothers raise dairy replacement heifers and finish out approximately 2,400 hogs a year. They also manage 1,500 acres growing corn, soybeans, small grains, and alfalfa. 

Lunemann Family’s Twin Eagle Dairy of Todd County

In 1983, Patrick and Jody Lunemann took over the farm started by Patrick’s grandparents. Called Twin Eagle Dairy, the operation now consists of 635 dairy cows and 750 young stock.  The cows are milked in a 24 stall parallel parlor and baby calves are raised in a new computerized feeder facility. 

Gary and Lori Swanson Family of Washington County

The Swanson family farm in Afton, Minn. has been in operation at the present location since 1942. The farm was originally a dairy, but was converted to a feeder cattle and hog operation when Gary took over in 1976.Today Gary is operating a corn and soybean farm along with feeder cattle. The Swansons use GPS yield monitoring and mapping, grid soil sampling for fertilizing, and lime applications. 

Here is a complete listing of the 2012 University of Minnesota Farm Family of the Year honorees, by county:

County: Family/Farm

  1. Aitkin: 4R Charolais and Angus Ranch 
  2. Anoka: Daniel Johnson, Curtis Johnson, Dave Johnson, Drew Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Lee Johnson
  3. Becker: Jay & Anna Brown Family
  4. Benton: Jeremy & Barb Larson Family
  5. Big Stone: Gerald & Peggy Heck Family
  6. Blue Earth: Bradley & Linda Leiding
  7. Brown: Greg & Kari Scholtz Family
  8. Carlton: Newman Dairy
  9. Carver: Heuer Dairy Inc.
  10. Cass: Greg Booth& Vickie Kettlewell
  11. Chippewa: Tony & Stacie Schuler Family
  12. Chisago: Roger & Linda Blazek
  13. Clay: Donald Schenck
  14. Clearwater: Dale & Lois Miller
  15. Cottonwood: Tom & Marilyn Fast Family
  16. Dakota: Bremer Farms:  Roy & Karen Bremer and John & Janet Bremer
  17. Dodge: The Alberts Family
  18. Douglas: Max & Lyla Radil
  19. Faribault: Mark & Sharon Obermeyer Family
  20. Fillmore: LeRoy & Darleen Johnson’s Rolling Acres
  21. Freeborn: Andrew & Jody Bakken
  22. Goodhue: Rostad Farms
  23. Grant: Reuss Grain Farms:  Randy & Connie Reuss
  24. Hennepin: Marvin D. Johnson
  25. Houston: Viking Valley Farm:  Gerald, Duron & Darin Bratland
  26. Isanti: David & Donna Whitney – Dew Fresh Produce and Jacob Whitney – Jake’s Apple Shack
  27. Jackson: Christopher Family
  28. Kanabec: Anderson Standing Rock Ranch
  29. Kandiyohi: Carlson Dairy, LLP
  30. Kittson: Justin & Donna Dagen
  31. Lac qui Parle: Duane & Suzi Haugen
  32. Lake of the Woods: Lyle & Millie Wiskow
  33. Le Sueur: Curt & Joyce Bohlen Family
  34. Lincoln: Dwight & Peggy Buller Family
  35. Lyon: Bruce & Juanita Bot Family
  36. Mahnomen: The Geray Farm
  37. Martin: Gary & Dorothy Janssen and Family
  38. McLeod: Duane & Mary Nelson
  39. Meeker: Dave & Katie Hendrickson Family
  40. Mille Lacs: Eller Family Farm
  41. Morrison: Oberton Honey Farm
  42. Mower: Gene Anderson Dairy Farm
  43. Murray: Bill & Merri Post Family and Ben & Connie Post Family
  44. Nicollet: Jeff & Natalie Leonard and Doug & Nancy Wenner
  45. Nobles: Perkins
  46. Norman: Bryan & Theresa Hest Family
  47. Olmsted: Kroening Farms
  48. Pine: Martin’s Greenhouses
  49. Pipestone: Marlin & Donna Berg and Philip & Laurel Berg & Family
  50. Polk: Chuck & Barbara Schulstad
  51. Pope: Arne E. Stoen Family
  52. Ramsey: Dave and D.J. Roeser
  53. Red Lake: Roger & Janel Walter Family
  54. Redwood: Breitkreutz Family Farm
  55. Renville: Agre Farms
  56. Rice: Joe & Pat DeGrood Bros.
  57. Rock: The Christians Family Farm
  58. Roseau: Eugene & Eunice Millner
  59. St. Louis: Byrns Erickson Families
  60. Scott: Casey Acres, Inc.
  61. Sherburne: Edling Farms Inc.
  62. Sibley: Neyers
  63. Stearns: Dan & Jolene Schlangen
  64. Steele: Rodney & Michelle Krell Family        
  65. Stevens: Lampert Farms
  66. Swift: Kevin Voorhees Family
  67. Todd: Lunemann Family’s Twin Eagle Dairy
  68. Traverse: Bruce & Joann Conroy Family
  69. Wabasha: Hyde Park Holsteins:  Kevin & Kay Siewert Family and Kerwin & Sandy Siewert
  70. Wadena: Mertens Family Dairy Farm
  71. Waseca: Paul & Marijo Beckstrand
  72. Washington: Gary & Lori Swanson Family
  73. Watonwan: Anderson Farm
  74. Winona: David & Kristi Tveten Family
  75. Wright : Valley View Dairy:  Dan & Erica Elsenpeter and Luke & Elizabeth Elsenpeter
  76. Yellow Medicine: Paul & Jamie Kvistad Family

[where: Sustainable Food, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota]

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