Farm Horizons, May 2002

Anderson family named as McLeod County Farm Family of the Year

When it comes to success and commitment to farming, David and Donna Anderson of Lester Prairie stand out from the crowd.

They have been recognized by the University of Minnesota as McLeod County's farm family of the year.

They, along with 78 other farm families, were recognized at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus March 7.

According to Charles Muscoplat, dean of the college of agricultural, food and environmental sciences, all of the families are very deserving of the recognition.

"This is an opportunity for the University to demonstrate its appreciation of Minnesota's agricultural families," said Muscoplat. "These families represent the best of what agriculture and production are about. They're successful professionally, active in communities, and innovative in dealing with change."

Families were selected for the award by University of Minnesota Extension Service staff and community and agricultural leaders, based on the family's success in food production, commitment to enhancing and supporting the fields of agriculture and production, and their involvement in their communities.

The 160-acre Anderson family Century Farm is a national leader in breeding and using Guernsey dairy cows. They call their operation the "Up the Creek Farm" but it certainly is not.

Among the notable is their breeding of the 1987 national Guernsey show grand champion, and being named the national Guernsey young farmer in 1996.

Last summer, the family also hosted a visit to their farm for delegates attending the National Guernsey Association Meeting.

They have 88 head of Guernseys, 43 of which are milked. They grow and sell 20 acres of soybeans, and feed the product off of 40 alfalfa and 60 corn grain and silage acres to their cattle.

Both David and Donna are very active with the local dairy association and the state and national Guernsey Associations, and Donna is vice-president of the state group. Both are also 4-H leaders.

They have two children, Karen, 13, and Kevin, 11, who help feed calves, move hay and straw bales, and occasionally drive the skid-steer.

Prior to being recognized for their accomplishments, families had the opportunity to meet with the event sponsors, which include the University of Minnesota's Extension Service; College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences; College of Veterinary Medicine; Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station; and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

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