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Stee-po Farms named 2014 Farm Family of the Year

Representing agricultural achievement in diverse farming operations, 74 families from throughout Minnesota are being honored as 2014 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.  Stee-po Farms Inc. of rural Hancock has been named Stevens County’s 2014 Farm Family of the Year.

 Stee-po Farms Inc. was started in 1991 because Delray Nelson wanted to turn his farm into a business to be shared by his sons Chuck and Barry.  The 40 acres that the farm is located on was purchased by Chuck and Barry’s great, great grandfather in 1876 for $177.  He and his wife came over from Norway with his parents in 1860, and settled the original homestead on 80 acres about a half mile north of the current farm.  Chuck and Barry’s children are the seventh generation of Nelsons’ farming that original 80 acres.  Today Chuck and Barry have a grain and vegetable farm.  Corn, soybeans, and dark red kidney beans under irrigation are grown in both Stevens and Pope Counties.  Barry and his wife Sandra have two children; Seth (18) and Emma (14).  Chuck and his wife Lisa have three children; Josh (23), Evan (18), and Morgan (16).

 Chuck and Barry support the Hancock FFA by donating corn during the annual corn drive, helping with various projects, and assisting in judging team practices.  They also support the Stevens County 4-H auction each year.  In addition Barry is on the Stevens County Farm Bureau and Chuck is on the Stevens County Farm Management Board.  The Nelson children are active in 4-H showing livestock, completing projects, and participating in project bowl and livestock judging.

 Stee-po Farms Inc. will be recognized and honored locally at the annual Wednesday evening community supper during the Stevens County Fair on Aug. 6.

The 2014 Farm Families will also 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.

 The Farm Families represent each county participating in the program. They were chosen by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture.

"The farm families receiving this year's honors exemplify what makes Minnesota agriculture strong.  They bring innovation, science and hard work to farming.  They care greatly about the land and animals and delivering quality products to consumers worldwide," said Bev Durgan, Dean of Extension.  "The University of Minnesota takes great pride in honoring these families."