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Home > Fair Info > MUSTANG SEEDS Ag Education Center > Past Featured Farmers

Aaron Borgen, Perley, Minnesota -- 2019

Aaron Borgan started farming in 2004. He is a 4th generation farmer and farms with his brother, Brandon. Aaron and his wife Kelsey have two children: Oliver is 3 years old and Addison is 6 months old.

Aaron enjoy the challenge of farming. He said that farming is something he just grew up knowing he wanted to do. He really enjoys watching his kids get excited to see the tractor and going out to the field. "Kids make everything a little more exciting when they are seeing it for the first time. It brings you back to the reality of it" said Aaron.

Aaron's best farm memories was when he was younger and first started running the combine. He would see his grandpa coming out to the field with the scoop shovel and walking along to see if any grain had fallen out. He recalls how he always wondered how grandpa survived walking in front of the tire and never getting run over. Things were different back then and you would just come to expect grandpa with his shovel.

Aaron hopes he will be handing down the farm to the next generation, but he isn't going to insist. If either of his children want to farm, he will support them. But ultimately, he just wants them to be happy and pursue their own dreams.

Other Fun Facts:
  • Aaron's favorite thing about the Fair?: I like to watch the horse shows and the livestock shows. And of course, The Races.
  • Aaron's Favorite Fair Foods: Cheese Curds! He also shared that he really enjoys Top Hawgs sandwich, but Kelsey doesn't allow him to eat those when she's going to be around.

Ross Opsahl, Twin Valley, Minnesota -- 2019

Ross Opsahl started actively helping on the farm in the late 70's while growing up and going to school in Twin Valley. After attending North Dakota State University and then taking an ag position in Grand Forks, he returned to the family farm in 1992 to join his father Eldred and brother Jeff.

Ross' wife, Rhonda, and all three daughters have been actively involved with the labor intense certified seed potato enterprise. They currently work in cooperation with nephew, Tyler Opsahl (fourth generation to farm in Home Lake Township) on the small grain, bean and corn production.

Ross and his wife Rhonda feel the most important thing they raise in their daughters. But after that, it's wheat, barley, soybeans, corn and low generation certified seed potatoes.

Ross enjoys being able to work outdoors and to utilize their resources to help produce food. He enjoys being able to work with family members and to accept the challenges of managing a business. When talking with Ross, he said "You can't beat the view of a sunset while you're working your way across a freshly tilled field with rows of corn showing up in the field next to you and a carpet of green wheat that has emerged in the distance. Or maybe it's the satisfaction of seeing an irrigator put some cool water on a 'thirsty crop' on a hot summer day. If you're lucky, it's seeing all of the ups and downs of the season turn into a successful fall harvest".

One of the great memories Ross has of farming is getting the chance to run one of the combines when he was about 11 years old. He said it felt good to be a part of the crew, working hard and helping everyone get the job done. He always looked forward to seeing his mother show up at lunchtime so they could take a short break for cold lemonade and fresh cinnamon rolls.

Ross expects he will hand off his portion of the operation to the next generation, even ig it might be a little early to know exactly who that might be.

Other Fun Facts:
  • Ross's favorite thing about The Fair?: Of course the Food! And he likes to walk through and see all the exhibits. It's nice to see the names of our youth and a few of the things that they have spent time working on or enjoy doing.
  • Ross's favorite Fair Food?: Corn Dogs and Ice Cream

Corey Hanson, Gary, Minnesota -- 2019

Corey Hanson has been helping on his family farm near Gary, Minnesota all of his life.

He's a 3rd generation farmer and works along side his brother, Craig; his nephew, Cole and his father, Floyd. They farm approximately 900 acres of grain and raise 90 beef cows. They grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. The alfalfa is mainly used for livestock feed. They also have a cow/calf operation that consists of hereford and hereford/angus cross cows.

Corey has many joys of farming, like no two days are ever the same. Some of those joys are:

  • The new challenges that arise at any given time or moment
  • The great feeling of accomplishment when the seed you planted in the spring has a bountiful fall harvest
  • But his favorite is the never ending opportunity to keep learning or educating ourselves. He enjoys going to education meetings and also learning by trial and error.

Corey has numerous great memories, but some of the best have been in his families time of need. In 1974, when the farm was hit badly by a tornado, the neighborhood came to help clean up after the destruction. It was amazing. Or, in 2002, when a fire destroyed their farm house, the neighbors again came to help in various ways. Corey also has memories of the farmers helping each other at harvest because Mother Nature provided too much moisture.

Corey hopes to be able to hand down the family farm to another generation that has the passion for agriculture.

Other Fun Facts:

  • Corey's favorite thing about The Fair?: I go to the fair to see friends and watch the kids, big and small, enjoy themselves at the carnival, livestock shows, 4H projects and the entertainment at the grandstand. He really enjoys the food that you can only get a few days of the year. Corey considers the fair to be more of a social event.
  • Corey's favorite Fair Food?: It has to be a hot, fresh corn dog, cotton candy, and cold ice cream on a hot day!

Rachel Arneson Borne, Halstad, Minnesota -- 2018

Rachel Arneson Borne grew up on the farm! Her first real farm task was hoeing weeds in their sugar beet fields. She went to college in St. Paul, and earned a Bachelors Degree in English and a Masters Degree in Anthropology. She then worked at various non-profits for a number of years before deciding to return to the farm in 2012. She always knew she would return to the farm in some capacity, but did not expect to fall in love with farm management and the day-to-day operations as she did.

She's proud to be a 5th generation farmer and 3rd generation sugar beet grower.

She is has a strong team of people on the farm including her parents, Ray & Jacqueline Arneson; Wade Hauge, who has worked for the family for 21 years. Wade's son, Hart, and wife, Nita, also work for the farm seasonally. In fact, Nita first trained Rachel how to operate a swather during wheat harvest many years ago! Rachel's brother, Jesse Arneson also farms with them along with many valuable, seasonal helpers.

Rachel predominantly raises sugar beets, wheat, soybeans and sometimes corn.

Rachel's favorite thing about farm is solving problems. Having a problem arise in the middle of harvest is never fun, but it is so satisfying when she finds the solution.

One of Rachel's great memories of farming is when her stepson, Alex (11) rode with her in the combine for the first time in 2016. Her husband, McKeag, expected him to last 20 minutes. Alex ended up spending over 4 hours with Rachel, asking great questions about the monitoring technology and operations of the machine. He harvested the final 20 acres of wheat in the driver's seat that year! He's not quite sure what he wants to do when he grows up. Even if it's not farming, Rachel and McKeag are glad he has these personal experiences to be a knowledgeable advocate of agriculture.

Rachel is not sure if the farm will be handed down another generation. Only time will tell. "Farming is not for the faint of heart; you have to be passionate about it. My dad understood this and never pressured me to return to the farm. He wanted it to be something I wanted to do for myself. I plan to take this same approach with the next generation.", stated Rachel.

Other Fun Facts:

  • Rachel's favorite thing about The Fair?: I enjoy seeing the 4H projects. I know those kids put in so much time and effort! It's fun to see the younger generation practicing skills and pastimes that are so quickly disappearing from modern day common knowledge.
  • Rachel's favorite Fair Food?: One of everything!

Blaine Erickson, Lockhart, Minnesota -- 2018

Blaine Erickson is a 5th generation farmer. The farm was homesteaded in 1895 by Martin and Wilamena Felske who arrived from Germany. Although Blaine has farmed with his grandfather and his father, he is currently the only family member farming. He does hope to continue the tradition by handing down the farm to either one or both of his daughters.

Blaine truly enjoys spring and getting into the first field. Knowing he is contributing to feeding the world food supply is something he takes pride in. Erickson Farms raises soybeans, corn, wheat and sugar beets.

Growing up in the industry, Blaine is grateful for the guidance he had from being able to farm with his grandfather and father. The technology has changed greatly over the years and is continue to change from auto steering to seed technology.

Blaine and his wife Stacy, are passionate about farming. Blaine hopes to be able to hand down the farm in some capacity to his daughters. He doesn't want to see it end with his generation. Alyson (21) is attending North Dakota State University for Agriculture Economics. Brooklyn (18) recently graduated from Ada-Borup High School.

Other Fun Facts:
  • Blaine's favorite thing about The Fair?: Getting together and seeing friends and family
  • Blaine's favorite Fair Food?: Corn Dogs!!!

Pete Kappes, Ada, Minnesota -- 2018

Pete Kappes began farming in 1970 with only 3 acres and a 4H field. He began working with his father, Joe G. Kappes, in 1975 when they rented a farm. In 1983, he started farming with his father-in-law, Walter Olson and has been farming ever since.

Pete enjoys getting out in the Spring and starting a new crop season. Watching the crops grow and how the seasons change has always been a highlight to his farming. Pete raises wheat, soybeans and dogs.

Pete's best farm memories are of being a little farm kid and watching the progression of nature and growing things. He truly enjoys the fair, and the 4-H and FFA lifestyle.

Pete and his wife, Colleen, are not sure if the farm will be handed down another generation. As of now his daughters, Kayla (30) and her husband Elliot Thompson and Krista (25) and her fiance, Brent Jansen have other professions, but only time will tell.

Other Fun Facts:
  • Pete's favorite thing about the Fair?: I like to watch the younger generation enjoy the 4-H and FFA programs and how excited they are about fair exhibiting and showing their projects. The fair melds together the generations; the older generation thinking of their youth and the younger generation just enjoying the participation and making memories!
  • Pete's Favorite Fair Foods: Ribs, corn dogs, Top Hawg, and basically most of the fair foods!

Thank you to our Ag Education Supporters

Mustang Seeds
Presenting Sponsor
Ag Country Farm Credit Services
Thunder Seed
Ada Building Center
Bayer Fund Grant

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