Central Plains Golf Tournament

The Central Plains Dairy Golf Tournament is Wednesday, July 30 at Rocky Run in Dell Rapids, S.D. There’s still some room in the shotgun start scramble tournament for individuals. Put a foursome together or we’ll match you up with others. Fee includes cart for four, lunch, dinner, beverages on the course and lots of prizes. Some of the proceeds go to a scholarship fund. Register online or email kathy@centralplainsdairyexpo.com or call 218-236-8420.

University of Minnesota announces field days

National Farm Medicine Center announces 2014 summer student

 Jessica Perkins, a recent graduate of University at Buffalo, State University of New York, is interning at the National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC). Perkins is one of 10 students selected to participate in the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation’s (MCRF) Summer Student Research Internship Program (SSRIP).

Perkins completed her master of public health degree after earning a bachelor’s in animal science from Cornell University. Perkins grew up on a dairy farm in Arcade, N.Y, and graduated in 2007 from Pioneer Central High School in Yorkshire.

Perkins’ research interests focus on combining human health, behavior choices, and safety with her agricultural background and knowledge. She is primarily assisting Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., in research describing the relationship between central Wisconsin bankers and the day-to-day decision-making and behaviors of dairy farmers. Results will help in designing safety interventions that leverage that relationship.

This is the 40th consecutive year of Marshfield’s summer student program. Perkins will present results of her project in a research symposium in front of the entire Marshfield Clinic on August 14.

The National Farm Medicine Center (www.marshfieldclinic.org/nfmc) conducts research, develops and delivers health and safety information, and offers innovative service models to improve human health and safety associated with rural and agricultural work, life and environments. The center is part of Marshfield Clinic, one of the largest private multi-specialty group practices in the United States.

University of Minnesota honors Farm Families of the Year

Representing agricultural achievement in diverse farming operations, 74 families from throughout Minnesota are being honored as a 2014 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.

The farm families will be recognized in ceremonies beginning at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, at the annual Minnesota Farmfest on the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls. The event is in the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center on the estate grounds.

A sampling of farmers and their contributions to agriculture follows, as does a complete list of 2014 Farm Families. More on Farmfest is available at www.ideaggroup.com/farmfest.

John Irrthum Family, Goodhue County

John grew up on the Irrthum family farm near Wanamingo where his parents, Walter and Pat, milked Ayrshires and Holsteins. Along with his mother Pat, wife Linda and two children, he continues the dairy tradition. The Irrthum family is well-known for their quality dairy livestock, and was recently awarded the Progressive Breeder Award at the All-Dairy Breeds Convention. Pat coordinates the County Extension Home Study Program; John has been a 4-H leader, which has allowed him to volunteer in many ways at the county fair. John also serves as president of the Minnesota Ayrshire Association.

Van Lin Family, Houston County

Van Lin Orchards on South Ridge was bought in 1958 by Frank and Helen Van Lin. It began as a dairy farm, but changed in 1959 when Frank started a tree nursery. In the nursery, dwarf trees were raised from stock imported from Holland. In 1994, Van Lin Orchards was passed down to Frank's sons Dan and Rick. Varieties they grow include Haralson, Regent, Fireside Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious and Zestar. Van Lin Orchards has been a member of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association for more than 30 years, as well as a member of the La Crescent Chamber of Commerce.

Kiefland Holsteins LLC, Winona County

Raising Holstein cows has been a tradition for the Kieffer family since 1952 when Gary's father, Leon purchased the original farm. In 1988, Gary and Linda purchased the farm from Leon and his wife Fern. Over the years, Gary and Linda have made improvements to the farm, including the addition of a free stall barn to hold 200 cows, the remodeling of the old barn to a parlor with a holding area, and the addition of five robots, which milk 300 cows daily. In addition to the cows, the Kieffers farm alfalfa and corn on 600 acres. They have three children and have been involved with the Winona County Dairy Showcase, Winona County Open Dairy Show, Winona County Dairy Judging, and the Minnesota Holstein Association. In addition, they have been hosts for the Precision Dairy Conference, and participated in many domestic and international tours.

The full list of farm families is here: http://mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu/families-by-year/2014-farm-families/.