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University of Minnesota Extension, Published July 12 2010

U of M recognizes 2010 farm families of the year

Seventy-three families from across Minnesota, one from each participating county, have been named a “2010 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 5 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Visit the university’s farm family website at http://mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu/. Profiles of the 2010 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the website at www.extension.umn.edu/go/1040.

“Almost all Minnesota farms are family farms,” said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. “These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities. The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contribution to agriculture and their communities."

Families receiving honors were selected by their local county Extension committees and have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture and agricultural production.

The diversity of Minnesota family farms can be seen by looking at a sample of the 2010 honorees:

Douglas Lawrence Family of Anoka County

The Douglas Lawrence family farm was established in 1957 when Douglas’s father purchased a farm and three registered Hereford bred cows with calves in Coon Rapids. Known today as Lawrence Herefords, the farm is now in the fourth generation of raising and showing cattle. Besides the Herefords, the Lawrence family has 320 turf acres in Anoka County. Doug, Joann and their sons and grandchildren are all involved with the family operation.

John and Leila Arndt of Kandiyohi County

John and Leila purchased their Willmar area farm in 1972. The farm began as a beef cow operation, but is now a 200-acre farm and bison ranch. Besides 300 head of bison, they raise oats, corn and soybeans. The farm has a selection of different cuts of bison for sale, and they are involved with the Farm to School program and many other organizations.

Kramer Farms of Renville County

Eugene Kramer was born into a family of 12 children. Eugene, the oldest, and Mike, the youngest, decided they would start farming together. As Eugene and his wife Carol began growing a family, their five boys also began farming with Eugene and Mike. They raise corn, soybeans, sugar beets, kidney beans, sweet corn and peas.

Tom and Lisa Walsh Family of Swift County

In 1992, Tom Walsh took over the family farm his parents had been running for 50 years. His farm started with feed cattle, a cow/calf operation and some crops. Eight years later, he and his brother, with some partners from Morris, built a 2,000 cow dairy. They have since built another dairy. Today, Tom is the managing partner in the dairy operations. In addition, he raises corn and alfalfa and has a small beef cow herd.

Coleman Farms of Watonwan County

In 1967, Dennis Coleman purchased a 160-acre farm in South Branch Township with the help of his parents. A year later, Dennis and his wife Sonja started a hog operation. Today the Coleman family operates a 1,200 sow farrow-to-finish hog operation, which is mostly located on the original 160 acres. In addition to the hog operation, they run 2,700 acres of soybeans and corn.

Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Farmfest runs Aug. 3-5 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 3 and 4, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 5. Admission is $10 per person, and those 18 and under are admitted free. More information on Farmfest is available at www.farmshows.com/ffst.

Here is a complete listing of the 2010 University of Minnesota Farm Family of the Year honorees, by county:

County Family

Aitkin Ron and Sharon Dotzler Family

Anoka Douglas Lawrence Family

Becker Spadgenske Dairy

Benton Joe and Wendy Knapek Family

Big Stone Wulff Family Farm—Walter and Sheila Wulff

Blue Earth Jeff and Julie More & Family

Brown Jenna and Mike Griebel Family

Carlton Bill and Ruth Sharratt

Carver Andy and Jodene Stuewe

Cass The Stockman’s

Chippewa Schultz-Schaefer Family Farm

Chisago Diamond B Farms

Clearwater Gary and Aryls Mathis

Cottonwood Kent Erickson

Dakota Al and Beth Bester & Family

Dodge Currier Family

Douglas Andy and Emily Siira

Faribault Don and Nancy Linder Farm

Fillmore Lind Family Farms

Freeborn Pat and Rosanna Staloch

Goodhue Jaeger Farms

Grant Paul and Carol Anderson Family

Hennepin Picha Farms

Houston Paul and Helen Solum Family

Isanti Rodney and Sara Elmstrand

Jackson Brian and Bruce Ihnen Families

Kanabec Thoeny Farms

Kandiyohi John and Leila Arndt

Kittson Ronald and LaVonne Anderson

Lac qui Parle The Daren Schmidt Family

Lake of the Woods Elmo and Alcia Sorrels

Le Sueur Jerry and Peggy Cooney Family

Lincoln Glen S. Johnson Family

Mahnomen Robert and Carol Schafer Family

Martin Robert and Melissa Garry

McLeod Jonathon and Debbie Posusta Family

Meeker Prairie Gold Farm (The Buers)

Mille Lacs Kevin and Tammy Krotzer & Family

Morrison Jim and Debbie Knopik

Mower Larry Larson & Family

Murray Stan and Jean Larson

Nicollet John and Beverly Schroeder Family

Nobles Wagner Family Farm

Norman Germolus Family Farm

Olmsted Roeder Farms

Otter Tail Bruce and Arleen Stone

Pine Mach Family

Pipestone Schulze Dairy

Polk Steve and Betty Ness

Pope Maanum Family

Ramsey City Backyard Farming, Xe Susane Moua

Red Lake Leslie and Alice Hofstad

Redwood Bruce and Ann Tiffany

Renville Kramer Farms

Rice Estrem Family Farms

Rock John and Jeanne Bowron

Roseau Jon and Valerie Johnson

Scott Zweber Family

Sherburne Shady Nook Farm; Neal and Judy Weis Family Farm

Sibley The Bruce and Nelva Lilienthal Family

Stearns Nick and Tara Meyer Family

Steele Heers Family Farm

Stevens Steven and Lori Kill

Swift Tom and Lisa Walsh Family

Todd Clasemann Dairy LLC

Traverse Pederson Family

Wabasha Jack and Cindy Stamschror

Wadena Dennis and Nancy Benson

Waseca The Leon and Beth Schoenrock Family Farm

Washington Gordy and Bonnie Tank & Myron and Linda Tank

Watonwan Coleman Farms

Winona Duane and Cindy Herber Family

Yellow Medicine Kvam Farm