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June 19, 2014 - Karin Elton
So Tuesday afternoon, from 12:30-7 p.m., I tagged along on a “I Met a Farmer” tour hosted by the Lyon County Farmers Bureau as a way to educate dumb-dumbs like me about farming.

I still don’t know what a combine is (even though I climbed in one — see photo taken by Farm Bureau rep and former FFA adviser and MHS teacher Paul Lanoue), but I did learn a lot about dairy and meat cow (?) farming, hog and crop farming.

On the Southwest Tours bus, my seatmate was David Van Loh, a Minnesota Farm Bureau guy. He said he was from Westbrook, so of course I said, “then you know my cousin, Steve Kjorness.” As a former coach, teacher and superintendent at WWG who has filled in as a superintendent at Minneota and elsewhere, a lot of people know him (and his wife, Cathy, a Louwagie) in southwestern Minnesota, Texas, Germany and any other places he lives or visits for any length of time.

Anyway, pulling my “Steve Kjorness card” out makes for instant likability on my part and Van Loh and I were soon chatting away like old friends.

There were 27 greenhorns on the bus. We were given white Farm Bureau totes with pamphlets and bookmarks with recipes and information about pork, beef and dairy. In addition, Lanoue’s wife, Ruth (a Verly girl), slipped in her card promoting her blog, .

The presenters, including Brittany Moorse, Tara Brandl’s brother Troy Chandler, Steve Coudron, Jonathan Olson and Matt Boerboom, were all great. They were well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their jobs, especially Brittany, who works in her family’s dairy operation near Minneota. She said she could name every cow and its mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Also on the bus was someone who grew up on a dairy farm near Winger (Polk County), MarJenna McWilliam, the 60th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. Well into her reign, she was quite comfortable wearing her tiara, a lovely dress, sash, nylons and heels throughout the bus ride and stops at four farms. I meant to take a photo of her among the cows, but I forgot because I was busy scribbling notes for my story sbout the day which will be in the 6/21 paper.


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