NEW ULM - Dairy producers Steve and Kerry Hoffman received the 2013 Service to Agriculture Award Monday night at the Farm-City Hub Club Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet at the New Ulm Country Club.
Owners of a Century Farm, the Hoffmans and a herdsman milk 130 cows with a 26,000-pound rolling herd average. They've won a number of milk quality awards from Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI).
An AMPI board member, Steve Hoffman represents New Ulm area dairy farmers. Kerry writes a column for The Journal that frequently details adventures on the farm.
Steve and Kerry Hoffman receive the Farm-City Hub Club Service to Agriculture Award from 2012 Hub Club President Don Sanderson Monday night at the New Ulm Country Club.
South Central College agriculture teacher and former University of Minnesota Agriculture Extension Agent Wayne Schoper said the Hoffmans were one of the first dairy farmers in the United States to use a compost dairy barn with bedded sawdust pack in 2004 for added cow comfort and milk production.
"The Hoffmans are very willing to use their dairy operation for area, national and international educational outreach purposes," Schoper said. "Stories and photographs about them have appeared in many places including a national dairy magazine in Finland."
Schoper said the Hoffmans were pioneers in using a cutting-edge tool for handling milk house wastewater.
Steve Hoffman humbly thanked the Hub Club for the award.
"We don't think we're anything special," he said.
"Mom always said I'd marry a dairy farmer," Kerry Hoffman said. "We believe agriculture is a staple of the community. We have no problem showing our farm to visitors. We learn as much from them or more than they do from us. We've had Japanese, Dutch and other foreign visitors we've become good friends with."
In another presentation at the banquet, New Ulm High School FFA Advisor Scott Stuckey introduced Chapter President Allison Bastian and Officer-at-Large McKenzie Vogel.
"There is a lot right with the world nowadays," Stuckey said. "There are lots of common sensical people I work with. That's what brings me to work every day."
Stuckey thanked the Hub Club for their support of FFA.
Meanwhile, newly elected Hub Club President Joe Maidl thanked volunteers and business people for their work and support.
"When you show up for fund-raisers, you're dedicated volunteers for the cause - youth - which give us a lot to look forward to," Maidl said.
Other incoming Hub Club officers are First Vice President John Luepke, Second Vice President Beth Fluegge, Secretary Ruth Klossner, Treasurer Doug Schottle and Membership Chair Randy Schroeder.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).