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Weiss family recognized as a '2020 Farm Family of the Year' by U of M

Times Report
The Weiss family

The Weiss family of Red Lake Falls has been named Red Lake County’s “2020 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

Ron and Sharon Weiss started farming in 1977. They have been growing asparagus for the last 15 years. The family’s 13 acres of asparagus is in addition to about 1,100 acres of wheat and soybeans raised on the Weiss farm in northwestern Minnesota. The Weiss family sells fresh and pickled asparagus at the Mentor Farmers Market and area grocery stores.

Family members are very important to the success of the Weiss farm. Ron and Sharon have four children. Daughter Shelby is married to Nolan Knott and another daughter, Kristen, is married to Ryan Brumwell. Ron and Sharon’s daughter Sara is married to Matthew Schindler and the Weisses also have a son, Matthew.

Ron and Sharon are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church. Ron is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Red Lake Falls Sportsman Club, serves as a 4-H leader, and is a Red Lake County

Commissioner. Sharon belongs to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Parish Guild and is a Red Lake County 4-H Extension Educator. The Weisses are a vendor at the local farmers market in Mentor.

And yes, after picking and processing 13 acres of asparagus the family still loves to eat asparagus.

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.