Sesquicentennial, century farms honored by Farm Bureau

SLEEPY EYE — Celebrating its 100th year, the Brown County Farm Bureau honored 2018 Sesquicentennial and Century Farms at its annual meeting at the Brown County REA Auditorium Thursday.

Eric and Shari Moll were honored as a Sesquicentennial Farm dating back to 1865. Century Farms were the Timm/Siebert/Erickson from 1878 now operated by Jan and George Erickson between Springfield and Comfrey. The Windschitl Family Farm of Comfrey dates back to 1914.

Jan Erickson said she grew up in Clements but married a farm boy, George Erickson.

“We struggled through it but we loved through it and made it,” she said about farming. “We’re grateful to mom and dad for hanging on to the farm.”

George Erickson said he survived two tornadoes on the farm, one quite recently.

“It was stressful having to move all the cattle in a hurry when the storm came up,” Erickson said. “We had to put some of them on places where cattle don’t usually stay.”

Minnesota Rep. Paul Torkelson said he recently found a historical Swedish pamphlet advertising “how wonderful it was to come to Minnesota and start a farm.”

“A lot of important Minnesota (political) races are happening this year,” Torkelson said. “It’s a very important election year. Every vote counts.”

Torkelson said the Minnesota Legislature appropriated $1 billion for highways this year but has still not funded U.S. Highway 14 expansion from New Ulm to Nicollet.

“We hope to make state government something that gets more things done for the people instead of causing headaches and having this “gotcha mentality,” Torkelson said.

Waverly farmer and Minnesota Farm Bureau Vice President Dan Glessing urged farmers to go to their FSA (Farm Service Agency) office to find out about the Tariff Relief Program. He said 50% payments for corn, soybeans, soyghum, wheat, dairy and hog farmers would be available for the first six months of the year. If prices have not recovered by Dec. 3, remaining 50 percent payments would be made.

Glessing said milk payments are 12 cents per hundred weight, one cent for corn and caps are $125,000 for crops and $125,000 for livestock. In addition, he said corn silage payments are not available.

Brown County Farm Bureau Public Policy Chairman Steve Commerford complained about the onslaught of rules and over-regulation by state agencies.

Approved resolutions to be considered by a state resolution committee:

• Opposing the labeling of simulated meat products as “meat.” Products labeled meat should come from the slaughter of livestock.

• Opposing counties and townships from implementing county or township ditch mowing permits.

• Supporting independent real cost analysis to counties for state-mandated health care programs.

• Opposing any MnDOT proposal to implement living snow fences on state highways that require the taking of land by eminent domain or permanent easement.

• Eliminating the Met Council and BWSR (Board of Water and Soil Resources) because they are unaccountable agencies controlled by non-elected boards.

• Opposing the BWSR “Keep Water on the land that is not based on good science. Runoff reduction should have a singular focus of increasing plant evapo-transpiration.

• Opposing the BWSR One Watershed One Plan being pushed on counties and watersheds that is counter to local accountability.

• Opposing watershed geo-political boundaries because they create unaccountable governing boards.

• Supporting a rural economic development study and policy that would determine the best way to attract agribusiness opportunities in rural Minnesota. This includes matching private business investments with necessary public infrastructure and begin as a southern Minnesota pilot project.

• The American Farm Bureau Federation should add African Swine Fever to the list of USDA diseases accurate testing programs should be developed for.

Jim Bartels, KNUJ Radio Station Manager, was honored for receiving the Minnesota Ag Communicator of the Year Award.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at