The University of Minnesota Extension named the family of Mark Klehr the 2019 Scott County Farm Family of the Year for Scott and Carver Counties.
The family, who farms just east of Belle Plaine, was honored at last Tuesday’s Scott County Board of Commissioners meeting. Mark’s parents, Dick and Alice Klehr purchased his family’s farm in 1971. In 1996, Dick retired, and Mark took over the operation after working in the operation, milking cows and whatever else the operation required. Mark purchased the farm in 2001.
Mark has four children, Marcus, who helps full-time on the farm, Nick, who helps with cattle record-keeping and other bookkeeping, Cameron, who helps with the farm when he has time away from his full-time job, and Emily, a former Scott County Dairy Maid who pitches-in as a relief milker when Mark is away from the farm.
The Klehr family currently milks 50 Holstein cows and raises dairy steers for market. On their 200 acres of farmland, the family grows corn, alfalfa and pastures, all of which is used to feed cattle.
In 2017, Mark received the Dairy Herd Improvement Award for the lowest somatic cell count in Minnesota.
Mark has been known to work closely with the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District in land and water conservation efforts.
Eighty-four families from throughout Minnesota are being honored as 2019 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota. The farm families will be recognized in ceremonies beginning at 1:10 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 8, at the annual Minnesota Farmfest on the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls.