This year, 75 families from throughout Minnesota will be honored as a 2013 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota, including the Patnode family of Corcoran as Hennepin County’s Farm Family of the Year.
The families were recognized in ceremonies at the annual Minnesota Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
Area Extension committees chose the families for demonstrating commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture. The families represent each county participating in the program.
“Farm families and agriculture 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 outstanding families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”
Dan and Cindy Patnode of Corcoran are the fourth generation to operate their family farm that was homesteaded in 1881. After a 4-wheeling crash in 1997, Dan decided to sell the dairy cows and stick with field crops, the area of farming he most enjoyed. Today the Patnodes grow corn and soybeans. On the farm, Dan is the main farmer, although Cindy does help out when and where needed. Their son, Noah, helps with fieldwork and plans to continue the farm into the fifth generation. Noah has started the venture already by renting land with his cousin. Dan’s brother Daryl is also an integral part as he and Dan continue to work together while still maintaining their own farming operations.
Aside from the farm, Dan is involved with Ag Star. Cindy attends seminars put on by AgStar, is involved in their church, and is the Watershed Commission representative for Corcoran. She also is a former Loretto City Clerk. The Patnodes also have organized meetings with area farmers to give input on manure management, and have enjoyed donating their time and tractors to the Corcoran Lions Tractor Pull each year.
-Compiled by Aaron Brom