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DL's Andresen family named U of M's 'Farm Family of the Year'

The Andresen family of rural Detroit Lakes were named as the 2017 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota Extension. The family accepted the award at this year's Becker County Fair on Saturday, July 29. (Vicki Gerdes/Tribune)

The Andresen family of Detroit Lakes has been named Becker County's "2017 Farm Family of the Year" by the University of Minnesota.

The family accepted the award during the Becker County Fair's agriculture awards program on Saturday, July 29.

"We were very surprised, but very honored," said Michelle Andresen at the ceremony. "We truly do have a family farm."

Indeed, the Andresens are the third generation of their family to farm the land in Becker County. The operation began as a dairy farm but was switched to beef in the late 1980s. In addition to a 140-head Red Angus cow/calf herd, the Andresens grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa.

The family grew strawberries until 2014, and also does some custom farming for neighbors as well as custom welding.

Todd and Michele Andresen work full time on the farm and take care of the cattle. They help their sons Matt, Clint and Cody with their business, Triple A Hay, selling small, square hay bales. The boys also help full time on the farm during the summer. Todd is on the Hamden Township Board, the local Farm Service Agency board, the Holy Rosary School Advisory Committee and the Detroit Lakes Wrestling Booster Committee. Michelle volunteers her time as a chaperone for Holy Rosary School field trips and other school functions. Todd and Michelle were named Becker County-Lake Agassiz Emerging Leaders in 2008 and both are supporters of FFA The Andresens are avid hunters and outdoors people. They are members of Holy Rosary Church in Detroit Lakes.

Families receiving honors were selected by their local county Extension committees and have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture and agriculture production.

"These farm families 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 farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities."

Sponsors of the program include Farmfest, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.