Photo compliments of Cloquet Pine Journal
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/17/2012) —Seventy-six families from around the state, one from each participating county, have been named a "2012 Farm Family of the Year" by the University of Minnesota.
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 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 at www.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:
- Aitkin: 4R Charolais and Angus Ranch
- Anoka: Daniel Johnson, Curtis Johnson, Dave Johnson, Drew Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Lee Johnson
- Becker: Jay & Anna Brown Family
- Benton: Jeremy & Barb Larson Family
- Big Stone: Gerald & Peggy Heck Family
- Blue Earth: Bradley & Linda Leiding
- Brown: Greg & Kari Scholtz Family
- Carlton : Newman Dairy
- Carver: Heuer Dairy Inc.
- Cass: Greg Booth& Vickie Kettlewell
- Chippewa: Tony & Stacie Schuler Family
- Chisago: Roger & Linda Blazek
- Clay: Donald Schenck
- Clearwater: Dale & Lois Miller
- Cottonwood: Tom & Marilyn Fast Family
- Dakota: Bremer Farms: Roy & Karen Bremer and John & Janet Bremer
- Dodge: The Alberts Family
- Douglas: Max & Lyla Radil
- Faribault: Mark & Sharon Obermeyer Family
- Fillmore: LeRoy & Darleen Johnson's Rolling Acres
- Freeborn: Andrew & Jody Bakken
- Goodhue: Rostad Farms
- Grant: Reuss Grain Farms: Randy & Connie Reuss
- Hennepin: Marvin D. Johnson
- Houston: Viking Valley Farm: Gerald, Duron & Darin Bratland
- Isanti: David & Donna Whitney - Dew Fresh Produce and Jacob Whitney - Jake's Apple Shack
- Jackson: Christopher Family
- Kanabec: Anderson Standing Rock Ranch
- Kandiyohi: Carlson Dairy, LLP
- Kittson: Justin & Donna Dagen
- Lac qui Parle: Duane & Suzi Haugen
- Lake of the Woods: Lyle & Millie Wiskow
- Le Sueur: Curt & Joyce Bohlen Family
- Lincoln: Dwight & Peggy Buller Family
- Lyon: Bruce & Juanita Bot Family
- Mahnomen: The Geray Farm
- Martin: Gary & Dorothy Janssen and Family
- McLeod: Duane & Mary Nelson
- Meeker: Dave & Katie Hendrickson Family
- Mille Lacs: Eller Family Farm
- Morrison: Oberton Honey Farm
- Mower : Gene Anderson Dairy Farm
- Murray: Bill & Merri Post Family and Ben & Connie Post Family
- Nicollet: Jeff & Natalie Leonard and Doug & Nancy Wenner
- Nobles: Perkins
- Norman: Bryan & Theresa Hest Family
- Olmsted: Kroening Farms
- Pine: Martin's Greenhouses
- Pipestone: Marlin & Donna Berg and Philip & Laurel Berg & Family
- Polk: Chuck & Barbara Schulstad
- Pope: Arne E. Stoen Family
- Ramsey: Dave and D.J. Roeser
- Red Lake: Roger & Janel Walter Family
- Redwood: Breitkreutz Family Farm
- Renville: Agre Farms
- Rice: Joe & Pat DeGrood Bros.
- Rock: The Christians Family Farm
- Roseau : Eugene & Eunice Millner
- St. Louis: Byrns Erickson Families
- Scott: Casey Acres, Inc.
- Sherburne: Edling Farms Inc.
- Sibley: Neyers
- Stearns: Dan & Jolene Schlangen
- Steele: Rodney & Michelle Krell Family
- Stevens: Lampert Farms
- Swift: Kevin Voorhees Family
- Todd: Lunemann Family's Twin Eagle Dairy
- Traverse: Bruce & Joann Conroy Family
- Wabasha: Hyde Park Holsteins: Kevin & Kay Siewert Family and Kerwin & Sandy Siewert
- Wadena: Mertens Family Dairy Farm
- Waseca: Paul & Marijo Beckstrand
- Washington: Gary & Lori Swanson Family
- Watonwan: Anderson Farm
- Winona: David & Kristi Tveten Family
- Wright : Valley View Dairy: Dan & Erica Elsenpeter and Luke & Elizabeth Elsenpeter
- Yellow Medicine: Paul & Jamie Kvistad Family
Note: Photographs of families who attend the Aug. 9 recognition ceremony will be posted to mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu after Aug. 15.