Best of the Best in Agriculture honored Wednesday at the Rice County Fair
New Hall of Fame inductees are: Waldo Broberg (1904-1993), Paul and Barb Liebenstein and former Minnesota Governor, Albert “Al” Quie.
Waldo Broberg was involved in agriculture throughout his life. He moved from Waconia to Faribault and managed the Farm Service Stores Elevator, eventually opening his own store in Faribault in 1949: Waldo Broberg Feed & Seed. After retirement, he stayed active in the agricultural community with involvement in the Rice County Agricultural Society, the Lion’s Club agricultural committee, the Rice County Fair Board, and as a 4-H booster. He is remembered as a true promoter of agriculture.
Paul and Barb Liebenstein have owned and operated Wolf Creek Dairy near Dundas for 23 years, and currently milk 400 cows. They are active in the community and the dairy industry. The Liebensteins volunteer the farm for classes, camps, and tours; Wolf Creek Dairy sees approximately 500 people a year. The Liebensteins have served on boards for Cannon Valley Cooperative, University of Minnesota Dairy Authority, Rice County American Dairy Association, Midwest Dairy Association, and have been active in the Rice County Extension Committee and the Rice County 4-H program throughout the years.
When Al Quie began his political career, he was owner and operator of a Rice County dairy farm. He was the Supervisor of the Rice County Soil and Water Conservation District and then served on the Dairy Products/Livestock Committee and authored several bills supporting agriculture throughout his career. During his 1979-83 term as Minnesota Governor, Al appointed a working farmer, Mark Seetin, as MN Commissioner of Agriculture because he believed that practical knowledge was essential for the position. Al continues to serve his community through Prison Fellowship programs in which he counsels former prisoners.
There are several other accolades given at the breakfast. The University of Minnesota Farm Family of the Year will also be recognized; 2017’s awardees are Steve and Elaine Trnka of Faribault. The Trnkas farm 550 acres and have hogs and cattle for meat and 4H. They were also named Rice County’s Outstanding Conservationist of the Year in 2016.
The Rice County Soil and Water Conservation District selected Susanne Sevcik of Lonsdale as Outstanding Conservationist of the Year, along with Merle and Mavis Fossum of St. Paul as recipients of the Wildlife Enhancement Award, and Gary and Linda Wagenbach of Nerstrand as recipients of the Forest Stewardship Award. These awardees are recognized due to their conservation ethics and efforts in Rice County.
The four Rice County farms which have achieved Century Farm status in 2017 will also be recognized—Harvey and Harriet Edel of Kilkenny, Marvin Edel of Kilkenny, George Little of Dundas, and Don Minske of Waterville. These are family farms that have been actively producing for 100 years.
Landowners whose farms have met the standards for the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program and Minnesota Dairy Herds with Superior Cow Care will also be recognized.
Jerry Groskruetz and Art Madsen served as Masters of Ceremonies. Jim Nelson and Matt Purfeerst presentated a check on behalf of Cargill Cares to the Chamber Ag Committee in support of the many projects this group manages including the Ag in the Classroom, Family Day at the Farmers Market and Farm Business Luncheon.