Farm Family of the Year

The Pearson family of Ramsey has been named Anoka County’s “2020 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

Pearson Family Farm is a multi-generational family farm working together to provide families with great products. Pearson Farm is run by Alan and Betty Pearson and their son Dan and his wife, Cory. Initially, their crop focus was corn and hay while raising dairy and beef cattle. Today, the family raises natural pasture-raised chickens and clean rye straw in small squares that are frequently used for straw bale gardening. The family also offers a few round bales, corn, soybeans and occasionally oats. 

In September and October, they have family fun farm activities, over 50 varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and squash, corn stalks, broom corn, their special home-grown popcorn, fall décor and more. The barn is transformed every fall into a delightful boutique of many of the things grown on the farm as well as antiques and other treasured finds from around the farm. 

The Pearson family is deeply committed to helping others understand farm life and to understand where and how food is produced.

Alan served on the Ramsey City Council and has been active in the community over the years. The Pearson family farm has hosted many local groups including Camilla Rose Nursing Home and local group homes residents who have a chance to hold chickens and participate in a modified hayride. The Pearson’s offer home school and public school field trips where students spend a day on the farm and learn about the life of a farm family.

Though COVID-19 has forced cancellation of the annual Minnesota Farmfest, where the awards are presented each August, this year’s honorees will be celebrated in an online video tribute. The recognition, led by University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, will be available at 1 p.m., Aug. 6 at mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu.

Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.

“We’ll miss the face-to-face ceremony for the 2020 Farm Families of the Year, but nothing diminishes pride we take in celebrating their accomplishments,” said Extension Dean Bev Durgan. “These families represent the best in agriculture. They’re innovative and dedicated to their communities; they are stewards of the land.”

A complete list of the 2020 Farm Families of the Year will be available at mnfarmfamilies.CFAMS.umn.edu.       

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.