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Heusinkveld’s named 2013 Farm Family of the Year

Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. — This year, 75 families from throughout Minnesota will be honored as a 2013 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

The families will be recognized in ceremonies set for 1:30 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8 at the annual Minnesota Farmfest near Redwood Falls.

Local Extension committees chose the families for demonstrating commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture. The families represent each county participating in the program.

“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.”

Heusinkveld Farms in Spring Valley, Minn. was homesteaded in 1856 by Bonnie’s great-grandfather. Cleon and Bonnie began operating the farm after they married in 1949 and began a partnership with their two sons Steve and Jeff in 1973. After Cleon’s retirement in 1998, Jeff’s son, Nate, came into the partnership and an LLP was formed. Today the dairy farm milks up to 350 cows and currently has 320 replacements. The farm also has 550 acres, which consists of an alfalfa and a corn rotation. On the farm, Jeff and Nate are in charge of the dairy operation. Steve retired from daily chores, but still does the computerized book work, check writing, and helps in the field and with fencing as needed. Cleon’s involvement is cutting the alfalfa.

Organizations Cleon has been involved include DHIA, Farm Bureau, FHA, Fillmore County Forage and Grassland Council, and the church board. Bonnie has been involved with Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, Church Ladies, church choir, and a Mayo Clinic Hospice volunteer. Both Cleon and Bonnie were 4-H leaders for several years. Steve has been involved with the Fillmore County Agriculture Society, Farm Bureau, Kingsland School Board, and the church board. Ruth is a licensed PCA caregiver. Both Steve and Ruth enjoy helping at the local food shelf and participating in mission trips. Jeff and Darla own the Gateway Inn Restaurant in Wykoff, Minn. which Darla has operated for 20 years. Nate is an FFA alumni member and a seed salesman. Misty is a librarian at the Fillmore Central High School and is on the Forestville Township board.

A sampling of families and the breadth of their contributions to agriculture follows, as does a complete list. More on Farmfest is available at ideaggroup.com/farmfest.

The background on all the farm families is at: http://mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu/families-by-year/2013-farm-families/.

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