The Capistran family of Crookston has been named Polk County’s “2019 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

    The original Capistran farm was homesteaded in 1879 by Wayne’s grandfather. Wayne is the third generation of the family to farm in northwestern Minnesota. He started farming with his father and uncle. Kevin is the fourth generation of the family and Kevin’s son, Ben, at age 10, is well on his way of becoming the fifth generation of the Capistran family to farm the land.

    In addition to raising wheat, barley, oats, potatoes and sugar beets, Wayne’s grandfather also bred horses at a time horses were used to farm.

    Today, the Capistran family raises wheat, barley and soybeans for foundation, registered or certified seed as well as sunflowers and sugar beets. The seed is all processed on site in the family’s seed plant and then marketed.

    When Wayne is not managing the seed operation he helps with field work—mostly during harvest. His wife, Nancy, handles the bookwork. Kevin takes care of all the crop production along with research plots. Kevin’s son, Ben, helps with field work and other chores on the farm. He is also the assistant mechanic. Kevin’s wife, Lorri, handles communications and logistics and fills in driving truck or whatever else needs to be done.

    The Capistrans are members of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association and are involved in the wheat, soybean and corn grower associations. Kevin is past president of the National Sunflower Association. Nancy served on the county Extension committee.

    Wayne and Nancy served as trustees and council members of Cathedral Parish. Nancy also volunteers with the local homeless shelter. The family supports and is involved in 4-H.

    The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 8 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Profiles of the 2019 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website,

    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.”

    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.

    Farmfest runs Aug. 6-8 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 7 and 8. Admission is $8.00 in advance or $10.00 at the gate and those 17 and under are admitted free. More information on Farmfest is available at