Reads named as a 2017 Farm Family of the Year

Mower County’s Farm Family of the Year milk 120 registered Brown Swiss cows and raise 150 head of young stock in Lyle Township.

They are also active in the 4-H dairy lease program and last year received the Mower County 4-H Outstanding Leader Award.

Roger and Lori Read were chosen to be among the 80 families from throughout Minnesota honored with the 2017 awards by the University of Minnesota.

The farm families were  recognized in ceremonies Aug. 3, at the annual Minnesota Farmfest near Redwood Falls.

The families were chosen by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture, an Extension news release said.

Roger and Lori Read began farming in 1986 with the purchase of their homestead of 84 acres, one registered Brown Swiss bull and two Brown Swiss cows. Three years later the Reads rented Roger’s parents’ dairy farm and expanded their herd. In 1995, Roger and Lori bought the farm and expanded further.

In December 2014, the Reads’ bull, Reads Driver Kannon, was the No. 1 Brown Swiss bull in the nation for net merit
and progressive performance ranking. The bull retained the position for two years.

Their farm consists of 357 acres in a five-year rotation of barley, alfalfa, corn and soybeans, with most of the crops raised as feedstock.

Roger does most of the milking. Lori is employed as a regulatory compliance coordinator. She also handles registrations and genomics. Together the Reads handle the farm’s finances.

The Reads’ son, Greg, handles most of the field work. Greg and his wife, Heather, have a daughter, Jennifer.

The Reads’ daughter, Bethany, farms with her husband, Kris, in northwestern Minnesota’s Kittson County. They have four children: Jazlynn, Isaac, McKinley and Track.

The Reads are involved in the Minnesota and National Brown Swiss Associations.

Roger is a Lyle Township supervisor and Lori is president of a national utility safety organization.

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