The Paul and Colleen Meidl family of Springfield has been named Brown County’s “2018 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

The Paul and Colleen Meidl family of Springfield has been named Brown County’s “2018 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

Paul began farming with his parents, Ed and Carol, in 1987 when he rented acreage from neighbors Lawrence and Darlene Turbes. A year later, Paul purchased the building site where he and Colleen now live.

The Meidls raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa, and operate a custom wean-to-finish hog operation. The family also has a 100-head ewe flock, raising club-lamb type sheep.

Paul and Colleen make the day-to-day decisions on the farm and their children, Brittany, Tiffani, Gerritt and Tyson help out as well. Brittany is a science teacher at MACCRAY High School; Tiffani helps with the weaned pigs and the sheep operation; Gerritt is in college, but assists with field work when his schedule allows and Tyson helps with all aspects of the farm.

Paul and Colleen are members of the Brown County Pork Producers Association and Paul is serving his 24th year on the board of directors for the Springfield Co-op Creamery Association. Brittany, Gerritt and Tyson were all in the Springfield Nativity Pageant. All the Meidl children were active members of the Springfield FFA and Burnstown/Brookville 4-H club. Paul and Colleen have been 4-H volunteers for over 20 years. The Meidls are members of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

“Winning the farm family award is quite an honor, and very humbling,” said Paul. “It's not something that we ever thought about receiving, we just do the things we do because we enjoy it.” 

The farm families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 9, at Farmfest, near Redwood Fallls. The Meidls will also be recognized at the Brown County Fair on Friday, Aug. 10 at 2:15 p.m., prior to the Livestock Auction.

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.