Foundation Awards


Each year at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation recognizes the outstanding contributions of four professionals in the agriculture industry. Awards are presented to an Agriculture Communicator of the Year, Extension Educator of the Year, FFA Advisor of the Year and Post-Secondary Educator of the Year. Applications are due September 15.

2015 Agriculture Communicator of the Year

The Ag Communicator of the Year award was given to Courtnay Doyle of Easton. This award is presented because an important mission of Farm Bureau is to inform the public about its policy positions and to tell agriculture’s story.

Doyle has a passion for communicating agriculture to listeners in southern Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and Southeast South Dakota. A graduate of South Dakota State University, Courtnay began her career as a farm director on KATE radio and in 2007 she started The Three Eagles Farm network which in September became Digity Farm Network. Doyle and her husband Steve Lenz are from Faribault County.

“Honored doesn’t begin to express how I feel about winning this award,” said Doyle. “Minnesota Farm Bureau and the staff have always been a terrific go-to when I am looking to report on ag issues in Minnesota. I strive to inform others about agriculture. I am proud to be chosen and will continue to tell the story of agriculture. Thank you for your support!”

2015 Extension Educator of the Year

The Extension Educator of the Year award was given to Nathan Winter of Hutchinson. This award recognizes the important role that extension educators play in helping farmers keep up-to-date on new technology and training future agricultural leaders.

Winter has served as the extension educator in McLeod and Meeker counties for the past 10 years. He has coordinated regional crop management input seminars and most recently began a dairy series that will start in the winter months. Winter strives to be a trusted resource for producers and agriculture professionals can utilize for assistance. Winter and his wife Kelly have two children.  

“I am happy to be recognized for my work at the local level. I take great pride in my work supporting farmers,” said Winter.

2015 FFA Advisor of the Year

The FFA Advisor of the Year award was given to Brad Harguth of Caledonia. This award recognizes the important role these professionals play in developing agricultural leaders for tomorrow. He is in his 36th year teaching agriculture and his 26th year as an FFA Advisor. He believes that all students in the county should have the opportunity to participate in FFA and has worked to coordinate Interactive TV agriculture classes through the Caledonia High School Agriculture Department. He has a long resume of working both in high school instruction as well as in farm business management. Harguth and his wife Deb are from Houston County.

“For me this is a humbling award to receive. Thanks to the Houston County Farm Bureau leadership for getting me to apply for this award. I appreciate the Farm Bureau Foundation for sponsoring this award, as well as all the great FFA members I have worked with over the years,” said Harguth.

2015 Post-Secondary Educator of the Year

The Post-Secondary Educator of the Year award was given to Don Hermanson of Nicollet County. This award recognizes the educators supporting all of us in production agriculture and the important role these professionals play.

Hermanson is in his 19th year teaching at South Central College in Mankato in the Agribusiness Department. One of his most notable accomplishments was the Agriculture Literacy Institute which allowed teachers the opportunity to learn about Minnesota agriculture through tours and activities. He has also served on the Nicollet County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Hermanson and his wife Rhonda live near New Sweden.

“This is a great honor. Thanks to Farm Bureau for sponsoring the award and for all the great things the organization does for agriculture,” said Hermanson.