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Nominate a Farm Family of the Year for Meeker County

Nominate a Meeker County farm family or individual for the Farm Family of the Year. Nominations will be taken until Monday, March 31st. The Meeker County Extension Committee is encouraging local farmers and agribusinesses to fill out the form to honor a farm family or individual. Often, farmers are not honored for their dedication to the industry, community efforts, and the work they do to promote a positive portrayal of agriculture. Be sure to take the time to bring an individual or farm family forward for this honor.

Contact the Meeker County Extension Office for a nomination form or visit the University of Minnesota Farm Family of the Year Website to learn more about the program. The form can be found online as well.

The Meeker County Farm Family of the Year in 2013 was the Vir Kar J Swiss Farm- Virgil and Karen Ackerman Family. Virgil and Karen purchased their farm in 1972.  Over the years, they have milked up to 80 registered Brown Swiss in a double parlor. Virgil and Karen sold their milk cows, but still have a number of heifers and continue to raise corn and alfalfa.  Virgil and Karen have five children.  Jill, the second oldest daughter, has been farming with her parents for the past 20 years.  All of Virgil and Karen’s children come home when needed and during planting and harvesting.

In the community, Virgil has been on the Minnesota Brown Swiss Association and Meeker County DHIA Board.  Karen has been active with the Canton IV Brown Swiss Association, 4-H, and Meeker County dairy judging contests for 4-H and FFA. Virgil and Karen received the Minnesota Purebred Dairy Cattle Association Outstanding Breeder Award for Service and Dedication to the Dairy Industry in 2004.  The family has shown dairy cattle at the Meeker County Fair, MN State Fair, and World Dairy Expo. They have also hosted Breakfast on the Farm, Canton IV and State Brown Swiss Picnics, and numerous 4-H, FFA, and collegiate dairy judging teams.

The McLeod County Farm Family of the Year in 2013 was the Doug and Patty Dahlke Family.  Doug and Patty have two children, Samantha and Matthew, who both help on the farm.  Doug’s brothers Dan and Dean also help with the haying season and his father Bill acts as farm advisor.

In the community, the Dahlkes are members of First Lutheran Church and St. Pius Church.  The family is also active in 4-H as members and adult leaders.  Sam is a 4-H officer at the club and county levels.  Matt and Sam are also FFA members and Doug and Patty are FFA alumni members.  The family helps with fundraising and supporting the local FFA chapter where Sam is an officer. Today the Dahlkes raise corn, oats, soybeans, and hay.  They also have 18 head of commercial beef in a cow/calf operation. 


Upcoming Educational Events

Private Pesticide Applicator Training – Arlington, February 10th

Dairy Producer Series – Glencoe, February 13th

Private Pesticide Applicator Training – Hutchinson, February 13th

West Central Barriers to Bushels – Willmar, February 24th

Hutchinson Agribusiness Seminar – Hutchinson, February 26th

Dairy Producer Series – Gaylord, March 13th

Meeker County Gardeners Gala, March 18th 

McLeod County Master Gardener Horticultural Day, March 29th  


University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.


Nathan Winter
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems
(320) 484-4303
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