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Rieke files for Renville Co. Commissioner

Is RS Fiber Co-op board chairman

FAIRFAX — A fifth-generation corn, soybean and hog farmer recently filed for election for the Renville County Board District 2 seat.

Jacob Rieke, who farms southeast of Fairfax, is the RS Fiber Cooperative Board chairman and was a former junior director on the United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) board.

Rieke and his wife Kylie and their two daughters live on the farmsite homesteaded in 1862 by his family.

Rieke and John Robinson of rural Franklin filed for District 2 Commissioner Bob Fox’s seat. Fox announced earlier this year that he will not seek re-election. He has been a Renville County Commissioner since 2003 and serves on several state and national boards.

“I believe I have a lot to offer the people of Renville County and will serve my district well,” said Rieke. “I will focus on core services the County provides that have the greatest impact on residents, like maintaining and improving roads and railroads.”

Rieke said with his background in psychology, he’s also passionate about rural mental health, particularly because of his firsthand experience as a farmer and the unique set of challenges they face.

“Many of you know me as the RS Fiber guy because I began volunteering with the project in 2010, helping cities promote the effort.

In 2018, he was accepted into the MARL (Mn Agricultural Rural Leadership) training program. He attended seminars in Minnesota, Washington D.C., Cambodia and Taiwan.

Taking a non-traditional route to farming, Rieke received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology at Hamline University in St. Paul.

His wife Kylie received an art degree at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. She recently opened a pottery business on the farm called Raydiant Clay Works.

Prior to farming, the couple served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador from 2008 to 2010. It was there they realized they enjoy rural living and returned to the farm after two years.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)

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