Editorial: Freeborn County farmers deserve much thanks

Published 7:25 pm Wednesday, March 21, 2018

For 13 years now, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce has set aside a day to recognize the importance of agriculture and to name one area family as Farm Family of the Year.

This year the recognition went to the Ausen family of Alden, which operates about 1,100 acres of farmland, including planting and harvesting work done for landowners.

The farm has been in the family since 1857, one year before Minnesota was founded, and incorporates many of the family members.

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According to a study by the Minnesota State Demographic Center, there were about 110,000 farmers in 2012 in Minnesota. That includes farmers of operations of all sizes, starting as small as hobby farms or part-time farming operations. The average age of a farmer in the state is 55 years old.

Freeborn County was listed as No. 8 in crop production among all Minnesota counties in 2013, and No. 5 in corn production, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in 2013. It was No. 26 in livestock production.

Thank you to all of the farmers in our area for what you do, and congratulations to Dave and Becky Ausen and their family for the recognition this year.

Farmers are the backbone of our civilization, and we couldn’t survive without you.