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

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!

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