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Farm Briefs, Aug. 15

Williamsons named Kandiyohi County Farm Family of Year

WILLMAR -- The Williamson family, including Donnel, Christa, Daniel and Darrin Williamson and Donald and Ann Williamson of Spicer, was recognized in a ceremony at Farmfest as the Kandiyohi County Farm Family of the year.

The Farm Family Recognition Program honors farm families from throughout Minnesota for their contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities. Families receiving honors were selected by their local county extension committees and have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture and agriculture production.

"The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contribution to agriculture and their communities," said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. "There is no standard definition of a Minnesota family farm. The one factor they all have in common is that the families work together to make their farm successful. That farm family work ethic is the major contributor to the success of Minnesota communities and Minnesota's agriculture."

The Williamson Farm was started by Donnel's grandfather in 1917. The following years were filled with additions and changes in regards to acres and crops. In 1995, the farm was certified as organic. The Williamson farm today is run by Donnel and Donald and consists of 160 acres. They raise certified organic soybeans, corn, oats, wheat and alfalfa. In addition, they naturally raise livestock. The farm maintains a herd of 30 Columbia ewes, has an active Hereford cow-calf operation, and each year raises 100 market chickens. They also raise 15 laying hens. The farm also boasts a llama named Coco who helps protect the sheep.

The entire family is active in Minnesota Farmers Union and Kandiyohi County Farmers Union. Donnel has served on the Irving Township board and the Kandiyohi County Association of Townships and is involved in the West Central Mutual Insurance Company. Christa is a Meeker County 4-H volunteer and is active in the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators. Donnel and Christa are both active in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City North Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization.

-- Staff reports

Warm weatherhelping crops but planting got late start

FARGO, N.D. -- The region is finally getting some summer heat, but will it be enough for area crops?

Many area farmers got a late start to planting because of standing water in the fields well into the spring. Cool weather throughout the summer has since slowed crop development. Most crops are two to four weeks behind schedule.

Warm weather this week certainly has helped, but many crops are so far behind that there is concern that an early frost might kill plants before they have a chance to mature.

Crops such as soybeans, corn and sugar beets would normally benefit from a September frost because it can help with drying or sugar production. However, this year, many of those crops will still be maturing throughout September and an early frost could halt the maturation process. The average first frost date is Sept. 24.

-- John Wheeler,WDAY meterologist


Send information about ag news to or to the West Central Tribune, PO Box 839, Willmar, MN 56201.