The Jelinek family of Barnum has been named Carlton County’s “2020 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

Carol and Peter purchased an old dairy farm near Barnum in northeast Minnesota in 2001. They brought their five horses and one goat and made a home there.   Eventually, the Jelineks added a couple of lambs for their boys to raise as part of their 4-H involvement. Those lambs quickly led to a flock of about 35 ewes. Later, Carol and Peter purchased two Nubian goat kids from a cousin in New York and started a goat herd that later became a Boer goat herd of 35 to 40 meat goats.

The farm is now home to the goat herd, a Morgan horse, a donkey, and four chickens. The meat goats are raised for a long list of clients who enjoy goat meat. The Jelinek family has enjoyed showing goats at the Carlton County Fair.

Carol oversees all animal management from daily feeding, stall mucking, and delivering kids in the spring. Peter runs the machinery, moves bales, fixes fences and many other tasks. Until they graduated from college, Peter and Carol’s sons, Nicholas and Nathan, helped with a variety of chores.

Carol served as chair of the Build the Barn effort in Carlton County, which joined 4-H, community members and the Carlton County Fair Board to improve the 4-H show experience at the fair. She served as chair of the Carlton County Extension Committee and as a member for six years. She has continued to be active in 4-H as a leader and volunteer. Carol was president of the Barnum PTA and is the president and former vice president of the Willow River Education Association.

The Jelineks’ farm was a featured stop on the Sustainable Farming Association’s Grazefest a few years ago and the Jelineks are members of the American Boer Goat Association.

Though COVID-19 has forced cancellation of the annual Minnesota Farmfest, where the awards are presented each August, this year’s honorees will be celebrated in an online video tribute. The recognition, lead by University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, will be available at          1 p.m., Aug. 6 at mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu.

Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.

“We’ll miss the face-to-face ceremony for the 2020 Farm Families of the Year, but nothing diminishes pride we take in celebrating their accomplishments,” said Extension Dean Bev Durgan. “These families represent the best in agriculture. They’re innovative and dedicated to their communities; they are stewards of the land.”

A complete list of the 2020 Farm Families of the Year will be available at mnfarmfamilies.CFAMS.umn.edu.       

Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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