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Zurns awarded outstanding agriculturists honor last month

NDSU president Dean Bresciani, right, presents Callaway residents Bill and Karolyn Zurn with an outstanding agriculturists award during the annual Harvest Bowl. Submitted Photo

The annual Harvest Bowl took place Oct. 26-27 in Fargo and honored outstanding agriculturists from all counties across North Dakota and several in western Minnesota. Scholarships were also awarded to outstanding male and female NDSU athletes.

Callaway residents Bill and Karolyn Zurn took the honor for Becker County.

The Zurns farm in partnership with their sons. They grow sugar beets, corn and soybeans using minimum till. They received the Minnesota Department of Ag Becker County Farmer of the Year Award in 2008 and were named FFA Supporters of the Year.

Bill is a director for the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and Lake Park Community Co-op. He was appointed to the Minnesota Water Quality Board and is a township officer. He retired from the Air National Guard's Happy Hooligans.

He is a past president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. He also has served on the elevator board and Minnesota Little Britches Rodeo executive board, and was a 4-H project leader.

Karolyn worked for Procter & Gamble as a sales and marketing representative. She is the vice chair of Northern Crops Institute Council and a member of Minnesota Ag in the Classroom, and Minnesota Agri-Women.

In addition, she volunteers with the North Dakota Soybean Common Ground program and serves on the International Marketing Committee. Karolyn was a 4-H Leader and Homemaker Club president, and served on many church committees. The Zurns have five children and 10 grandchildren.

Also at the event, Neal Fischer, North Dakota Wheat Commission administrator, received the 2012 Agribusiness Award during the 39th annual Harvest Bowl program. This award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture and business in North Dakota and beyond.

As the state's land-grant university, NDSU plays a major role in contributing knowledge through research, academic programs and the Extension Service. More than 2,000 agriculturists have been recognized and more than $120,000 in scholarships have been awarded to NDSU student athletes who have agricultural backgrounds or are majoring in a field of agriculture.