Rosenhammer family is 2020 U of M Farm Family

U
M Extension
Brown County Farm Family of the Year, the Rosenhammer family, gathered for a picture at their farm. Seated in front, from left, are Dennis and Mildred Rosenhammer, Mildred is holding great-granddaughter Morgan Scholtz and Rebecca Rosenhammer holding Ava Fischer. Standing are Greg Rosenhammer, Johnny Rosenhammer, Joe Rosenhammer, John and Patty Rosenhammer, Mary and Kyle Fischer, and Laura and Chris Scholtz.

The Rosenhammer family of Sleepy Eye has been named Brown County’s “2020 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

The Rosenhammer family farm had its origin on May 9, 1959 when Dennis and Mildred married. They started with a few cows and were given a few more as a wedding present from Mildred’s father, Leonard. The dairy operation also included a small farrow-to-finish hog operation along with chickens for the sale of eggs. 

Dennis and Mildred’s son, John, joined the operation in 1982 after attending South Dakota State University studying dairy produc-tion. John’s brother, Greg, joined after high school in 1993 and in 1998 a partnership was formed between John and Greg. The farm’s hogs and chickens were phased out and the emphasis on the dairy herd grew steadily to the current herd of around 225 Holstein milking cows. 

Dennis and Mildred still live on the farm and remain active mowing the lawn, running errands, and offering support. Greg manages all crops and keeps an eye on marketing, mixes feed, and does some custom work. John manages the dairy, fixes most anything and oversees construction projects. John’s wife, Patty, works off the farm as a nurse at Divine Providence Community Home, as well as helping with milking and errands. 

John and Patty have five children and all are still active in different ways helping the farm succeed. Joe does a lot of custom work including hauling manure, baling hay, and chopping silage. Laura is an ag loan officer for Citizens Bank and helps the farm by managing all herd records, vaccinations, and keeping protocols up to date, as well as maintaining the financial records. Laura is married to Chris Scholtz and they have a daughter, Morgan. Mary works for Christensen Family Farms and on weekday mornings helps her dad with milking.  She is married to Kyle Fischer and they have a daughter, Ava. Rebecca is working toward her RN degree and works part time at the hospital in New Ulm.  She helps a few times every week on the farm. Johnny graduated from Lake Area Diesel school in Watertown, S.D. He presently works for Schroepfer Trucking in Sleepy Eye and helps on the farm at haymaking time. 

The Rosenhammer family has been involved in 4-H, FFA, Brown County American Dairy Association and the Brown County Holstein Association. The family has also been very active in their church and support of St. Mary’s School. 

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 mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu. on Aug. 6 at 1 p.m.

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.