Minnesota Farm Bureau Honors Agricultural Leaders at 98th Annual Meeting

Recognizing people who have given of their time and talents to agriculture was the focus of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Awards Banquet held Friday, November 18, during the 98th Annual Meeting at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington. The awards banquet included both individual and county honors in a variety of categories.

The Distinguished Service to Agriculture award is presented annually to outstanding leaders of agriculture in the state of Minnesota. The award is one of the most prestigious awards given by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. This year’s award recipients were Dr. Bill Hartman – who recently retired as the Minnesota Board of Animal Health state veterinarian and William Nelson who recently retired as the CHS Foundation president.

Honorary Life awards are bestowed onto lifelong members who have given enormous amounts of their time and talents to Farm Bureau. Minnesota Farm Bureau is truly grateful for all the dedication that its members give to our organization. This year’s Honorary Life award recipients were Rozetta and George Hallcock of Randolph in Dakota County, Burton Horsch of Howard Lake in Wright County and Harley and Joan Vogel of New Ulm in Brown County.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation presented awards in the following areas:

The Ag Communicator of the Year award is presented to an outstanding leader in the field of communications. This year the award was presented to Jerry Groskreutz of KDHL in Faribault.

The Extension Educator of the Year award is given to an extension educator who gives his/her time to promote agriculture and Farm Bureau. This year the award was presented to Troy Salzer who serves Northwestern Minnesota.

The FFA Advisor of the Year award is presented to an FFA Advisor who has exemplified outstanding service to educating youth about agriculture. This year the award was presented to Nathan Purrington who previously worked at Ada High school and currently works at the University of Minnesota – Crookston.
 
The Post-Secondary Agricultural Educator of the Year award recognizes educators supporting production agriculture. This year the award was presented to Jennifer Smith who works at Riverland Community College in Austin.

Four $500 Al Christopherson Scholarships were presented from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. Recipients are college juniors or seniors or in their final year of college. This year’s recipients are Rebekah Aanerud from Stevens County daughter of Andy and Heather Aanerud; Ethan Dado of Amery, Wisconsin son of Rick and Gwen Dado; Mariah Daninger of Washington-Ramsey County daughter of Pat and Sharlene Daninger; and Megan Stevens of Chippewa County daughter of Marc and Janet Stevens.

Two $500 Paul Stark Scholarships were presented from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. Recipients are in their freshman or sophomore year of college. This year’s recipients are Abbey Weninger of Wright County daughter of James and Lisa Weninger and Andrew Gathje of Olmsted County son of Paul and Nora Gathje.

The most prestigious county Farm Bureau award, the Counties Activities of Excellence was presented five key areas – Public Policy, Public Relations, Promotion & Education, Leadership Development and Membership Activity.

In the county membership group of less than 200 members, the awards were presented to Mahnomen County – Public Policy, Leadership Development and Membership Activity; Cass County – Public Relations; and Aitkin/Carlton County – Promotion & Education.

In the group of 201-450 members, the awards went to Stevens County – Public Policy, LeSueur County – Public Relations, Anoka County – Promotion & Education, Traverse County – Leadership Development and Douglas County Membership Activity.

In the group with more than 451 members, the award went to Houston County – Public Policy, Meeker County – Public Relations, Brown County – Promotion & Education, Olmsted – Leadership Development and Wright County – Membership Activity.

The MFBF 98th Annual Meeting concludes Saturday, November 18 with the announcement of the Young Farmers & Ranchers awards.


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