Three inducted into SCFF Livestock Hall of Fame
Heavy rain on the first day of the Steele County Free Fair did not dampen the enthusiasm of those attending the induction of three local farmers into the Steele County Livestock Hall of Fame. The newest inductees include Barb Kasper, Howard Schoenfeld and Donald Sloan.
The Livestock Hall of Fame event is “sort of the unofficial opening of the fair,” said Fair Board President Dan Deml. In addition to officially announcing the new Hall of Fame members, the program also recognized FFA award winners, the Robert Chladek Scholarship winner, Soil and Water Conservation awards and the Steele County Farm Family of the Year.
“The face of agriculture is changing,” said Brad Rugg, from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Explaining that his favorite painting is “The County Agent” by Norman Rockwell, he said the images represented in that painting as reflecting the agricultural community are very different than today.
Barb Kasper is one of two husband and wife teams to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Rugg said in his introduction. Darwin Kasper was inducted into the Hall of fame in 2011.
Barb Kasper’s real strength, Rugg said, has been her promotion and marketing abilities.
She has bred and shown Kashome Registered Holsteins for many years and has hosted many dairy tours for local, state, national and international groups.
She is a 20-year board member for the American Dairy Association and past regional president, a 50-year member of county, state and national Holstein Association and a past county director, past 4-H adult leader and executive committee board member. She served for years as a director of the Minnesota Milk Producers and former AMPI district president.
The Kasper’s were named Steele County Farm Family of the Year in 1992.
In addition to farming, she is a board member of Medford Congregational Church and manager of the Medford Union Cemetery and member of the Steele County Historical Society.
Howard Schoenfeld’s swine operation actually began when he was a student and a member of FFA, Rugg said. In 1975, he purchased a farm of his own and operated a commercial farrow to finish swine operation until 2004.
He has been a director and is past president of the Steele County Pork Producers and was director and a national delegate for the Minnesota Pork Producers. He was named 4-H Outstanding Leader and is a past president of the Adult Leaders Council.
He has been a member of the 4-H swine and auction committee and a 4-H judge for herdmanship and swine interviews.
The Schoenfelds were named Steele County Farm Family of the Year in 1989, Minnesota Pork Producers Family of the Year in 2007 and he was named the Jaycee Outstanding Young Farmer in 1984. He was named to the Minnesota Swine Honor Roll in 1981.
He has promoted pork at local, state and national events and was named Minnesota Pork All American in 1990.
Donald Sloan’s father was one of those inducted into the Hall of Fame with the first group, Rugg said. The Sloan family farm was started in 1967 and Sloan met his wife, Bonnie, at the Minnesota State Fair, where she showed the champion Holstein and he showed the reserve champion.
In accepting the award for her father, who died in 1996, Cindy Owen said her father was “all about Holstein cows.”
He was sectional winner in the National 4-H Dairy Achievement contest, represented Steele County and Minnesota at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago and bred and exhibited his registered Holsteins at national shows in Chicago and Dallas. He was a 4-H member and adult leader for 40 plus years, a member of the Holstein Association for 40 years and hosted many Holstein meetings, Purina demonstrations and American Breeders Service.
His Ellendale farm was featured on the cover of the “Holstein World” magazine in 1962.
Sloan developed and sold herd sire “Prince X Gypsy Leader” to the American Breeders Service.
The criteria for membership in the Steele County Livestock Hall of Fame include the individuals’ impact/influence on the livestock industry at the county, state and national level with the county being a priority and leadership in the livestock industry at the county, state and national level with the county level again being a priority.
Other criteria are the length of service and being of a respected, ethical and high character.
Also recognized at the event was the Loren Krause Family, named the Steele County Farm Family of the Year. Loren and Beverly Krause bought their dairy farm in 1965.
Since starting out with 20 cows, they have developed their business to include 120 dairy cows and 220 acres of land that produces feed for the livestock.
Currently their son, Scott, works full-time with the day-to-day operation of the farm and several other children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can be found helping out when needed.
The Krauses have hosted farm tours to help teach area elementary students about the dairy industry.
Also recognized at the ceremony were FFA National Degree members Ciana Svoboda from Owatonna, Erin Larson from New Richland and Samantha Larson from Medford and Melissa Malakowski of New Richland, State FFA Small Animal Contest and the State FFA General Livestock Judging Team from Medford of Hank and Cal Schultz and Lexi and Mikalya Wetzel.
Mariah Larson, of Medford, was announced as the recipient of the Robert Chladek Scholarship from the 761 School District Foundation.
Steele County Soil and Water Conservation Awards included Brad Hagen of New Richland as Outstanding Conservation Farmer; Jim Wencl, Owatonna, Outstanding Windbreak and Daryl and Phyllis Grose, Owatonna Outstanding Wildlife Conservationist.