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Owner of organic farm gets big honor

Gary Brever operates a Community Supported Agriculture organic farm near Parkers Prairie. (Contributed photo)

Gary Brever was named the 2012 Outstanding Young Farmer by the Minnesota Jaycees for his work in advancing the agricultural career, soil and water conservation practices, and contributions to the well-being of his community, state and nation.

Brever is the owner of Ploughshare Farm in Alexandria, a family farm that he operates with his wife Jennifer and four sons. It is a 160-acre farm on which they grow more than 40 fruits, vegetables and herbs, and raise pigs, chickens and turkeys.

The farm is USDA certified organic.

The Brevers have been farming since 1998 and have been a part of the Community Supported Agriculture program since 2002. "Community Supported Agriculture connects the farmer with the consumer," said Brever.

As part of their commitment to the CSA movement, they regularly update their website and blog about the latest farm news and recipes.

Brever was awarded, "Farm/Farmer of the Year" in 2009 by the Edible Twin Cities and was featured on the public radio show, The Splendid Table, in December 2011.

Brever will advance to the national Outstanding Young Farmer competition, which will be awarded in February 2014 by the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity.

Since 1954, the Minnesota Jaycees has been recognizing the importance of strong young leaders in the agricultural industry throughout the state. Nominees submit information about their farm, background, and knowledge of the industry and are judged by others in the agricultural industry.

Minnesota has had 11 national winners with three of them being awarded in the last five years.


The mission of the Minnesota Jaycees is to provide the opportunity for young individuals to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, entrepreneurship and fellowship necessary to create positive change.

The Minnesota Jaycees is a statewide organization consisting of 70 local chapters and 2,200 members. Chapters are located in rural, mid-sized and urban communities and its membership is comprised of young people between the ages of 18-40.

As a civic organization, the Minnesota Jaycees are developing the next generation of leaders by providing opportunities to take initiative in their community.

Jaycees around the state are responsible for organizing hundreds of community festivals, fundraisers for other nonprofits, and creating opportunities for community members to engage with one another.

For more information about the Minnesota Jaycees or the Outstanding Young Farmers program, visit