Prior Lake family is Scott County Farm Family of the Year
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 08/13/2012 12:56 PM
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — Scott County's Farm Family of the Year has deep roots in the county.
The family farm was homesteaded in 1855, Robert Casey said, three years before Minnesota became a state.
Robert and his five siblings grew up on the farm. He and Pat took over and now milk 100 Holsteins, raise their own young stock and feed out their steers. They sell sweet corn direct from the farm and also raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
Pat's son, Calvin, has joined them and has a 40-cow beef herd. Their nephew, Jake Borchardt, helps, as does Pat's daughter, Kylee. Robert and Pat's mother, Helen, lives on the farm and keeps the records. Pat's other children, Colin and Kalyn, will help if needed.
Their farm is known as Casey Acres.
Casey Acres is located just 20 miles from the Mall of America, fewer than 30 miles from the Dome and four miles from Interstate 35. Coping with commuter traffic is a way of life, something they've become accustomed to. The busy four lane just down the road from the farm was put in about 15 years ago to carry commuters from Shakopee, Jordan and Prior Lake to work. It also carries buses on the way to Mystic Lake Casino.
There is still quite a bit of agriculture in Credit River Township, where they live, Casey said. A beef feedlot is down the road, fields of corn and soybeans and lots of horse farms. It's pretty quiet because development as dried up. In fact, some of the places that were plotted for development have reverted to agriculture with the spike in commodity prices.
The Caseys knew of the Farm Family recognition program, but had no idea they were nominated until they received a phone call.
Agribusinesses are asked to nominate farm families, said Laura Kieser, Extension educator in Carver and Scott counties. Farm families who are nominated are asked to fill out a form and a subcommittee of the Extension committee in each county reviews and selects the farm family of the year.
Farm families are chosen based on several criteria, including how their farm their business, how their farm is perceived in the community and their community involvement.
The Caseys will be honored at the Scott County Fair this week during an opening day breakfast. They will also be honored Aug. 9 at Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
Casey said someone will attend the Farmfest recognition event, but someone will also stay home to milk. They milk at 4:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. It takes about an hour to milk in their flat parlor with 12 units.
Robert, Pat and Calvin all make time to serve the agricultural community. Pat is on the Scott County ADA board and Calvin is on the DHIA board. Robert is on the Scott County FSA County Committee and on the Credit River Cemetery Board.
The Scott County FSA office will be closing soon and the records moved to the office in Dakota County located in Farmington. Some producers in the county will move their records to Le Sueur, Carver and Rice counties, too, Casey said. They will go to Farmington, which is about the same distance from them as Jordan.
The county committee will operate intact until December 2013, he said. New boundaries will be drawn up for the combined counties this winter and everyone will be up for election in 2013.