They were officially recognized during a ceremony Thursday, August 9, at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
The Farm Family Recognition Program honors farm families from throughout Minnesota — 76 families from around the state, one from each participating county — for their contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities. All of the honored farm families have made significant contributions to Minnesota agriculture and their communities.
“Farm families and agriculture are a major driver of Minnesota’s economy and the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these outstanding families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”
Families were selected by their local county Extension committees for having demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture.
Greg Scholtz began farming with his parents, Dennis and Diana Scholtz, in 1983 when he rented his first acreage from his grandfather, Leonard Scholtz, which was part of the farmstead that had been established in 1874 by his great-great-great grandfather, Johann Wendt.
In 1985, Greg married Kari Schmitz of Springfield. Soon after, they purchased their farm site northwest of Comfrey. Today their farm consists of approximately 550 crop acres growing corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and peas, and sweet corn for Del Monte. They also have a cow/calf operation of 120 Angus and Angus based cows. Greg and Kari manage the farm, but all of the Scholtz children, Christopher, Andrew, and Emily continue to play an important role on the farm.
In the community, Andrew, Emily, and Chris were active in the Comfrey Comets 4-H Club and FFA. Andrew and Emily have been active in the Minnesota Junior Angus Association. Greg and Kari have been involved with Minnesota Angus Association and volunteers for Brown County 4-H. Greg also serves as a board member for the Brown County Ag Society.
“We all have our niche on the farm,” Kari said during an interview last week. Kari grew up in town and has adjusted well to life in the country. “I felt isolated at first. It was different. It’s not an 8:00 to 5:00 job with weekends off. You just can’t pick up and go whenever you feel like it.” She enjoys life on the farm. Besides homemaking, she has always held a job off the farm. Currently she is employed at AgQuest, a subsidiary of Harvest Land Cooperative.
Greg has lived his entire life on the farm. “I grew up milking cows during the days that most farms had cows,” he said. The Scholtz diversified farming operation included hog production as well as dairy. He made the switch to beef in his farm operation. The family got started with purebred Angus production with their children’s 4-H projects.
The Scholtzes’ oldest son, Chris, 25, is a diesel mechanic / combine specialist employed at Bruggeman Co. in Sleepy Eye. Son Andy is interning at Harvest Land Cooperative this summer and will be a junior this fall at South Dakota State University, Brookings, where he is studying farm management / agribusiness. Daughter Emily is interning at Schwartz Farms this summer and this fall will be a sophomore at South Dakota State University where she is studying animal science.
Article written and published by: Doris Weber, Springfield Advance Press the week of August 13, 2012
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