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 16, during the 100th 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 Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson and Mike Liepold – University of Minnesota Extension.
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 Lyle and Janet Dahlgren of Lake Park in Becker County; Harold and Sharon Peterson of Murdock in Chippewa County; and Leland and Sigrid Johnson of Owatonna in Steele County.
The Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation presented awards in the following areas:
The Agriculture Communicator of the Year award is presented to an outstanding leader in the field of communications. This year the award was presented to Joe Gill of KASM from Sartell in Stearns County.
The Extension Faculty and Staff of the Year award is given to an extension faculty member who gives his/her time to promote agriculture and Farm Bureau. This year the award was presented to Marcia Woeste who is an Extension educator from Long Prairie in Todd County working at the Brainerd regional office.
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 Shawn Linder who teaches at Grand Rapids in Itasca County.
The Post-Secondary Agricultural Educator of the Year award recognizes educators supporting production agriculture. This year the award was presented to Gerald Toland of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall from Lyon County.
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 Adam Kroll of Morrison County son of Duane and Linda Kroll; Jared Retzlaff of Dakota County son of Dennis and Tammy Retzlaff; and Abbey Weninger of Wright County daughter of James and Lisa Weninger.
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 Elizabeth Krienke of Wright County daughter of Kraig and Rachelle Krienke and Emma Nelson of Stevens County daughter of Barry and Sandy Nelson.
The most prestigious county Farm Bureau award, the Counties Activities of Excellence, was presented in five key areas – Public Policy, Public Relations, Promotion & Education, Leadership Development and Membership Activity.
Counties that excelled in all five areas receive the Premier Awards: Clay County, Crow Wing County, Meeker County, Washington/Ramsey County, Winona County and Wright County.
The MFBF 100th Annual Meeting concludes Saturday, November 17 with the announcement of the Young Farmers & Ranchers awards.