The Kevin and Ellen Roers family of Garfield was recently honored by the University of Minnesota as the 2014 Farm Family of the Year for Douglas County.
The recognition program has existed for more than two decades and honors farm families from throughout Minnesota for their contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities.
The 74 families from throughout the state receiving this year’s honor were recognized August 7 at the annual Minnesota Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
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,” said Bev Durgan, dean of Extension. “They bring innovation, science and hard work to farming. They care greatly about the land and animals and delivering quality products to consumers worldwide. The University of Minnesota takes great pride in honoring these families.”
ABOUT THE ROERS FAMILY
The Roers purchased their family farm north of Garfield in 1987 from Kevin’s parents.
In 2004, they purchased a second farm north of Brandon, and in 2010, they built a new barn and installed a robotic milking system at the Brandon farm.
Today the family milks 150 cows between the two sites. They sell all of their bull calves as babies and raise their own replacement heifers.
The Roers operate 650 acres growing corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
Kevin and Ellen have nine children – Mike, Rebecca, Gabrielle, Joe, Jake, Kevin Jr., Christine, John and Christina. Mike farms full time with his parents and handles the robotic milkers. Rebecca and Gabrielle have married and moved away from the farm. Joe, Jake, Kevin Jr., Christine, John and Christina all help when and where they can.
The Roers are members of St. Ann’s parish in Brandon. In 2013 they hosted the Douglas County “Lunch on the Farm” for the Douglas County American Dairy Association. Rebecca and Gabrielle are both former Douglas County Dairy Princesses, and Kevin is a former board member at the Millerville Co-op Creamery.