The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) honored those who have made significant contributions to agriculture and Farm Bureau over their lifetimes at the 103rd MFB Annual Meeting on November 19 in Bloomington. 

Distinguished Service to Agriculture

Congressman Collin Peterson
Congressman Collin C. Peterson received the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award. Peterson represented Minnesota’s seventh district from 1991-2021. He served as chairman and ranking member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee from 2005-2021 and was instrumental in writing and passing four farm bills. He is a nationally recognized expert on agricultural policy and has a strong reputation for bringing everyone to the table while offering positive and practical solutions to difficult problems. Mr. Peterson is currently president and founder of his government affairs and public policy firm, The Peterson Group.

Representative Jeanne Poppe
Representative Jeanne Poppe received the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award. Poppe served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2004-2020 and served as minority lead or chair of the House Agriculture Committees from 2011-2020, including 2018-2020 when she was chair of the Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee. Representative Poppe proclaims community service as a family value and is continuing to work for rural Minnesota as a member of the Farmamerica board of directors.

Honorary Life Membership
Roger and Joanne Dale
Roger and Joanne Dale of Yellow Medicine County were awarded honorary life membership to the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. The Dales have been active Farm Bureau members since the 1970s. Roger has served the county level as a board member, voting delegate, participating in Agriculture in the Classroom activities, and assisting with the safety program. He also served on the Resolutions Committee, worked in the booth at the State Fair, and served pork chops at Farmfest. The Dales have participated in Day on the Hill and remain active in their community through their church, American Legion, and other community projects.

Doug and Judy Schultz
Doug and Judy Schultz of Nicollet County were awarded honorary life membership to the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. They have been members since the 1970s and are crucial membership recruiters for the organization, consistently signing new members each year. Doug has served on the county board of directors and regularly attends the state and American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meetings. The Schultzs are involved in their local church, Chamber of Commerce, county political organizations, and veteran groups.

FFA Advisor of the Year
Jeffrey Lindeman of Chisago County was recognized as the FFA Advisor of the Year. Lindeman has been the agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor for 38 years and is currently at Chisago Lakes. Over 900 students take his agriculture courses and his goals is to serve the students, parents, school, and community through hands-on, contextual, authentic classroom experiences.

Extension Faculty & Staff of the Year
Diane DeWitte of Le Sueur and Sibley Counties was recognized as the Extension Faculty and Staff of the Year. DeWitte has been an Extension Educator for 13 years and is currently one of two swine educators in Minnesota. Her programs focus on swine health, reproduction, housing, biosecurity, management, nutrition, and workforce challenges. She cares for the farmers she works for through a boots on the ground approach.

Post-Secondary Agriculture Educator of the Year
Keith Olander of Cass County was recognized as the Post-Secondary Agriculture Educator of the Year. Olander is the dean of agricultural studies at Central Lakes College, directs the Agriculture & Energy Research Center, and is the director of AgCentric, where he connects industry professionals and students to agriculture career pathways. Previously, he also served as a farm business management instructor. Olander is a leader in his community, often organizing and hosting educational experiences throughout the year.