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Stadheims named 2020 Farm Family of the Year

The Stadheim family received the 2020 Farm Family of the Year award Wednesday morning given by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. 

Unable to have the annual agriculture luncheon this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chamber leaders awarded the Stadheims in a small ceremony on their family farm. 

Richard and Sarah Stadheim started farming full time in 1989 and have been a big part of the agriculture community ever since. Richard Stadheim, a fourth-generation farmer, farms many acres of corn and soybeans in Freeborn County and raises cattle on their farm. 

The couple has three children, Bennett, Garrett and Meghan (Puterbaugh), all of whom have all played a major role in helping on the farm, and four grandchildren. Bennett and his wife, Hannah, have two children, Leighton and Beckett. Meghan and her husband, Drew, also have two children, Soren and Oliver. 

Marty Little, the family’s friend and partner in farming, has also been a big part of the farm’s success. 

“It’s pretty exciting,” Richard Stadheim said. “Farming is our passion, and it is our life. We wouldn’t have any of this without our good Lord — we give him all the gratitude. He’s blessed us greatly, and we thank him for that. We humbly accept this award and thank (the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce) for choosing us. It is a real honor.”

Both Richard and Sarah Stadheim are involved in numerous community organizations. Both are active members of Crossroads Church, where Richard also serves on the board. Richard Stadheim was also named the Freeborn County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outstanding Conservationist Award in 2016. Sarah Stadheim has been an adult leader and key leader for the Hartland 4-H Club. 

“This family exemplifies so much of what it means to be an amazing farm family,” said Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce interim Executive Director Torrey Zimmerman. “The incredibly hard work, the pouring of time, energy and resources into the community, helping others and, as I said initially, I’ll start off and end with this, the incredibly hard work.”

Although their children have since grown out of 4-H, the family still works closely with the Freeborn County 4-H clubs by leasing some of their cattle to children within the county who would otherwise not be able to show livestock. 

According to one of the nominations for the family, the Stadheims “really do represent the true meaning of family, built on hard work and dedication to God, their farm and their community.”

The Stadheims, along with Little, also own Country Road Cattle, which raises and sells high-quality show and breeding stock, while also helping train and develop younger generations of cattle breeders.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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