A special open house is set for Sunday, October 14 from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Barnum Community Center to congratulate the Rich and Corina Newman family for being named Carlton County 2012 Farm Family of the Year. There will be a short presentation at 1:30 p.m.
Seventy-six families from around the state, one from each participating county, have been named a 2012 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota and local county Extension committees. The Farm Family Recognition Program has existed for over two decades and honors farm families from throughout Minnesota 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.
Rich and Corina’s 80 acre farmstead in Barnum was originally purchased by Rich’s grandparents, Charles and Muriel Newman, in 1922. Their barn was constructed from 1922-1926 with lumber cut on the prop-erty. Rich’s father, James, purchased and started farming the property in 1977. Rich and Corina then pur-chased the farm in 1990. The couple remodeled the barn and started milking in 1991. Today, they milk about 30 Holstein cows with a few Jerseys in the mix. They grow corn silage and put up their own hay-lage. They also raise steers and heifers for sale. Barley and oats are cropped on alternate years. Rich and Corina have four children, Katrina, 20; Justin and Jessica, 19; and Brandon, 15. The children have always helped on the farm doing various tasks.
In the community, the Newmans are members of the Minnesota Milk Producers. Corina is also involved in the ADA. Katrina and Jessica have both been Dairy Princesses. All of the children were involved in 4-H. The kids were also very active in school and athletics. Outside of the farm, Rich is a teacher and coach at Barnum High School. Corina also coaches at Barnum High School.
The families were officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, August 9 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls. "Farm families and agriculture are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Min-nesota'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."