Farm Horizons, Aug. 2016

Stuewes named Carver County Farm Family of the Year

ByTom Dierberger

The University of Minnesota Extension office named the Stuewe family of Cologne as the 2016 Carver County Farm Family of the Year.

The award is annually given to local farm families around Minnesota. It is presented to families who are involved in agricultural production and are engaged in their agricultural communities.

Paul Stuewe and his wife, Sue, have two children, Dan and Clare. Paul has served on the County Dairy Board and the Mid-County Coop Board.

Sue has been involved with the Carver County Dairy Association for six years. The organization represents farmers in Carver County in parades, hosts food shelves in June and December, and runs a Dairy Booth each year at the Carver County Fair.

Dan graduated from Ridgewater College with a concentration in dairy management and currently works full time on the farm.

Clare will attend South Dakota State University for nursing in the fall. In high school, she was involved in the FFA and was named the Carver County Dairy Princess in April.

The Stuewe’s work hard together, which is a necessity for a family of four as busy as they are.

“We’re all pretty interactive when someone’s gone,” Sue Stuewe said. “We all fill in for each other. I do a lot of the milking and feeding the calves, but we all do whatever needs to be done.”

The farm where the Stuewe family resides and works on has been in the family for three generations.

“The farm started out in the 1920s,” Paul Stuewe said. “My grandpa started it and my dad took over shortly after World War II. I took over in 1991.”

A typical day on the Stuewe farm begins around 6:30 a.m. with milking of their 80 cows. The morning chores are usually finished around 9:30 a.m.

Then it’s on to the other chores until it’s time for milking cows again at night.

“We basically do just dairy,” Stuewe said. “There will be some grain to sell, but not a whole lot. Most of the acreage covers feed, since we’re milking roughly 80 cows. We have room for 120, and we’re working our way up there.”

Stuewe and his family will attend Farmfest, Aug. 4 to 6th in Redwood Falls. All of the counties in Minnesota will be represented at the event. The Stuewe family will be presented with their official 2016 Carver County Farm Family of the Year plaque in Redwood Falls.

“We are very honored to represent Carver County,” Sue Stuewe said.

Nominated by dairy and agricultural businesses around the area, the Stuewe family was among five farms in consideration for the Carver County award. A committee came to an agreement that the Stuewe family deserved the award based on their involvement in the community and excellence of work.

Paul Stuewe’s favorite part of the farm, however, is not the awards or accolades. It’s the fact that the family spends quality time together, farming as one unit.

“Not too many people can say they have two generations working on a farm, so that kind of makes it fun,” Paul Stuewe said. “I guess [the award] means we’re doing a lot of hard work.”

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