Posts for January 2016

S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates the Birgen Farm Family

January 26, 2016

South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world.

 By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union; Photos by Kathy Birgen

 Like most South Dakota farm families 50 years ago, the Birgen’s farm resembled that of the Old McDonald nursery rhyme.

 “We raised cattle, chickens, sheep, had milk cows and stock cows ­ but back then, everyone did. You sold cream and eggs,” recalls Matt Birgen, an 86-year-old Korean War Veteran, who together with his wife, Maureen, farmed and raised their seven children on the land he bought near Beresford with combat pay in 1955.

To learn more about the Birgen family, and view a photo gallery, click here.

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Last Modified: 01/26/2016 2:30:11 pm MST


S.D. Farmers Union Young Producers Event Encourages Next Generation to Explore Sustainability

January 20, 2016

HURON, S.D. - Ranching is deeply rooted in Mark Hollenbeck's family. His great-grandparents homesteaded in Dakota Territory, however, as one of seven children, Hollenbeck grew up understanding that if ranching was in his future, he would have to take an unconventional route to get there.

 "It took a lot of unconventional ideas in order for me to get into the ranching business because unlike the vast majority of people who are ranching these days, inheriting the land wasn't an option available to me," explains Hollenbeck, who runs an organic cow/calf-finisher herd and a vacation rental property, Sunrise Ranch Lodge, near Edgemont.

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Last Modified: 01/20/2016 7:54:18 am MST