Bill and Ruth Sharratt of Carlton County are among 72 families from around the state to be named a “2010 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota. The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 5, at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn.
Bill grew up on a farm and bought his current farm in 1967. During his schooling years, he earned a degree in agricultural engineering and he later expanded that with an MBA. His education and work schedule forced him to move around to Michigan and Bemidji, Minn. However, in 1994 he retired and got back into farming.
In 1996, Bill bought back into beef farming and has since been active in growing and promoting farming. Today, the Sharratts are Carlton area beef farmers with 70 cows. They have been involved with on-farm research, recently working with evaluating new potential forage crops. They have also hosted field days on the farm. Bill is active in the Central Minnesota Premium Beef Association, local Cattlemen’s Association, and the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District. The family is also involved in their church and mission trips to the Ukraine.
“Almost all Minnesota farms are family farms,” said Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension. “These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota’s economy and the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities. The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contribution to agriculture and their communities.”
Families receiving honors were selected by their local county Extension committees and have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture and agricultural production.
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.
Farmfest is Aug. 3-5 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn.