A multigenerational Kanabec County farm family has been awarded this month’s Commissioner’s Good Farm Neighbor award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).  Stacy and Kevin Thoeny along with Kevin’s parents Don and Debra Thoeny operate a 200 cow dairy near Ogilvie.  

Winners of the Good Farm Neighbor Award are selected for their high animal care standards, environmental stewardship and community involvement.  For this dairy farming family, everything they do is with the cows in mind.

“We truly believe healthy happy cows produce quality milk,” says Stacy Thoeny. “And the cows are the queens of the farm.  For example, we have a comprehensive health program and our veterinarian is out every two weeks to check on our herd. We also consult a nutritionist on a monthly basis to develop balanced rations for the cows.”   

The two families grow 1100 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa for livestock feed and cash crop. Stacy Thoeny says this past year they adopted new conservation tillage practices to help reduce soil erosion.

“We’ve introduced no till practices and have installed some dikes and controlled drainage on a field of more than 200 acres to stop erosion and reduce runoff,” she said.

This year the Thoenys hosted their second “Breakfast on the Farm” to help educate people about dairy farming.  The family is also active in the Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau and the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. 

Winners of the MDA’s Good Farm Neighbor Award are selected by a committee representing the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the MDA.

Award nominations can be emailed to margaret.hart@state.mn.us or mailed to Good Farm Neighbor Award, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 North Robert Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55155.  A nomination form can be downloaded here.

Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture