Elkton family is Mower’s Farm Family of the YearPublished 10:35am Thursday, August 1, 2013
An Elkton family is among 76 others designated the University of Minnesota’s 2013 farm families of the year.
The Neuvirth family, which raises hogs, corn, soybeans, hay, along with a few chickens and cattle, was honored as Mower County’s Farm Family of the Year.
Brian Neuvirth, a fourth-generation farmer, said the award is a nice honor for true family farms, of which not many are left. It’s the first time the Neuvirth family has received such an award. Brian and his brother Tim enjoy their work, among the rest of the family.
“Some days it doesn’t even feel like work because we all like what we are doing,” Brian said.
Frank Neuvirth, Brian’s great-grandfather, started the farm after moving his family from Milan, Mich., to Elkton. Brian’s grandparents, Bob and Janet Neuvirth, were next in line. Rick, the oldest of five children, began farming with his parents at an early age and added hogs to the existing crop farm when he graduated high school. In 1979 he married Margaret.
Bob and Janet, have semi retired but still help in many ways.
Rick and Margaret have five children and three grandchildren. Sons Brian and Tim have been involved for quite some time. Tim’s wife, Michelle, works part time on the farm. Their son, Wesley, will someday help out and be the fifth Neuvirth generation on the farm. Son Nick; daughter, Michelle with husband Dan and children Grant and Grace; and daughter Donna with husband Andy Johnson help when they can.
“We really like what we’re doing with the hogs and the crops, and we all get along good,” Brian said.
Rick, Brian and Tim are all involved in Minnesota Pork Producers, Sacred Heart Church and 4-H. Margaret is active with religion classes at St. Peter’s Church and the local 4-H program.
Brian is also is involved in the community by being the 4-H Swine superintendent and volunteering at church activities. The Neuvirths all live within about three miles of each other.
In addition to the Neuvirths, Roger Toquam and his family from Blooming Prairie are also a farm family of the year for Dodge County. The Toquams, who also raise hogs and crops, have received recognition in the past, as they were Dodge County Soil and Conservation’s 2012 Outstanding Conservationists.
The Neuvirths will be recognized at this year’s opening ceremonies of the Mower County Fair.
They, with other families, will also receive recognition during ceremonies from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at this year’s Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
Farmfest runs Aug. 6 through 8 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 7, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 8.
The University of Minnesota Extension contributed to this report.