Growing up on her family’s farm south of Hastings, Karin Schaefer has spent her entire life entrenched in the agriculture industry. From her early days in 4-H and FFA, to working for the Minnesota Beef Council for nearly a decade and now serving as executive director for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, Schaefer’s love for all things ag continues to show through both her personal and professional life. 

Q: What about the agriculture industry is so special to you?
A: This probably sounds cliché, but it’s the people. I’ve gotten to know so many different people; they’ve become friends and they’re a big reason why I stay in this industry. The way Farm Bureau is structured, it is such a strong network of people from across the state. Any time I travel, I know I have someone I can call or visit no matter where I’m headed.

Q: How much of a role does farming play in your family’s life?
A: Farming plays a significant role in my family’s life. My husband and I raise crops and beef cattle. We enjoy watching our children learning to take care of something that is completely reliant on them and the values that come along with those responsibilities. They have also become active in the many opportunities available through 4-H. 

Q: What other interests do you explore outside of the agriculture industry?
A: I’ve noticed that when people have kids, oftentimes their hobbies turn into what their kids’ hobbies are. I grew up in 4-H, so it’s been fun to be an adult volunteer and help my kids navigate through the organization. I’ve been my daughter’s softball coach for the past couple years, as she’s learning how to play fast pitch. We also do a lot of ice fishing, which has become a fun thing for us to do as a family every winter. 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your role as executive director for the Minnesota Farm Bureau?
A: Having been around for over 100 years Farm Bureau has so much tradition, but I also appreciate that the organization is able to adapt as agriculture continues to change. I think constantly being aware of the advances in our industry, the changing needs of our members and creating a space where we can adapt and pivot when we need to is vital. 

Karin’s Favorites

8 Seconds

Musical artist
Clay Walker

Aspect of MFBF
The lifelong friendships that are made

Farming chore
Moving cows to new pasture