This week, I have been at Farmfest near Redwood Falls. It's an annual event in Minnesota that provides an opportunity for the University and Extension to connect with our agricultural partners. This year, we also had a chance to meet and hear from gubernatorial candidates, as well as state and federal legislative candidates, about Minnesota agriculture.
Today, we are honoring Minnesota farm families at the annual Farm Family ceremony. The University of Minnesota began the tradition of honoring farm families in 1980. Since then, farm families from across the state have been recognized annually for their contributions to agriculture, the economy and rural communities.
The farm families are chosen by local Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture. Those receiving this year's honors exemplify what makes Minnesota agriculture strong, which keeps Minnesota strong.
Farm families improve the fabric--and the future outlook--of rural communities. They invest time in serving on township boards, hospital boards, school boards and church councils. They volunteer to help families in need, and to assure the positive development of young people through 4-H and other youth organizations.
All of this is on top of what they do to provide food, fuel and a multitude of other agricultural products to the rest of Minnesota, the nation and the world. You can see the diversity of their agricultural achievements in the 72 families honored.
I am proud to honor the University of Minnesota Farm Families of the Year at Farmfest in Redwood Falls. I hope you will join me in congratulating these deserving farm families.