Swedzinski applauds area ‘Farm Family of the Year’ honorees

Three District 16A families — the Deutzes of Lyon County, the Brehmers of Lac qui Parle and the Ericksons of Yellow Medicine are receiving “2018 Farm Family of the Year” recognition.

The Farm Family Recognition Program has existed for over 30 years and is coordinated by the University of Minnesota Extension. Honorees are selected by local U of M Extension committees “based on their demonstrated commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture.”

“It is great to see these local families receive recognition for their hard work and dedication to agriculture,” said State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent. “As a family farmer myself, I have a great appreciation for the fact these families have worked so closely together through the generations to continue their operations.

“Our little corner of the agriculture world is a better place because of the dedication people like the Brehmers, Ericksons and Deutzes bring to the table.”

The U of M has assembled profiles each of this year’s 80 Farm Family award recipients and here are snippets from the three District 16A families:

•Allen Deutz Family Farm: The Deutz farm is a diversified operation with crops and livestock, with about 900 acres of mostly corn and soybeans with some small grains and forages mixed in. The family milked cows until 2016 and now raise grass-fed Red Angus cattle.

They also raise Registered Tamworth hogs that are direct marketed to consumers. The farm also includes a flock of laying hens and some broilers.

The Deutzes plan to expand their use of conservation practices on the land over the next several years by expanding the use of cover crops and livestock integration on most of their acres.

Allen Deutz, a fourth-generation farmer in the area and takes care of the day-to-day work on the farm; wife Kathleen handles the direct marketing business. Their children, Samuel, Autumn, Elsie and William help out as much as they can.

•Todd and Cindy Brehmer and Family: The Brehmers milk cows and grow wheat, corn, soybeans and alfalfa.

They also raise grapes on about five acres. Todd manages the dairy operation and the vineyard. Cindy relief milks, works in the vineyard and helps with field work.

The Brehmers’ daughter, Danielle, and her husband, Josh, also help with field work when needed. The Brehmers’ sons, Colton and Tyler, manage the crop operation and the feeding of livestock. Daughter, Addisyn, milks cows and takes care of the calves.

Son, Mason, handles daily calf feeding and also relief milks.

•Erickson Family: Wes and Sue Erickson both come from farming families. Their parents and great-grandparents were all farmers.

The Ericksons grow mostly corn, with some soybeans, on their farm near Granite Falls in western Minnesota. Currently, Wes and Sue’s son, Jim, and his wife, Melissa, along with their children, Kipton and Jada, live on the family’s home place.

Wes has been on the board of Minnesota Falls Township for nearly 20 years. Sue currently serves as an advisor on the Yellow Medicine County FSA Committee.

The Ericksons were very involved in 4-H when their children were younger. Sue served as an adult leader for several years.

The farm families will be recognized in a ceremony 1:15 p.m., Aug. 9 at the annual Minnesota Farmfest on the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls.

The event will be in the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center. More information regarding this program and full profiles of all 80 families is available at http://mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu.

Rep. Chris Swedzinski

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