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Engelmann Dairy named county farm family of the year

The 2014 McLeod County Farm Family of the Year is the Roger and Peggy Engelmann family, who own and operate Engelmann Dairy north of Plato, as well as partner with their sons in another heifer and milking operation.

Roger and Peggy Engelmann and their 15 employees manage a 550-head dairy herd, run over 3,500 acres of cropland and help their sons with their 1,200 cows at another farm near Waverly, as well as a heifer facility east of Winsted.
But Roger Engelmann said he doesn’t feel like he works too hard.
“What’s that saying? If you love your job it isn’t work? Something like that,” said Roger Engelmann. “I really enjoy what I do.”
The Engelmanns are McLeod County’s 2014 Farm Family of the Year. All of the Minnesota farm families of the year were honored Aug. 7 at Minnesota Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
The Engelmanns live on the farm just north of Plato that Roger Engelmann’s parents bought in 1945. Back then, the Engelmann family milked 40 cows and had a small hog operation.
Roger and Peggy joined the family farm operation shortly after he graduated from high school, in 1973.
(Peggy grew up in Lester Prairie as a “town girl,” and met Roger when they both played in a church softball league. The “town girl”now takes an active role in the farm operation, particularly during calving).
Eventually, the family eased out of the hog operation, in about 1980, and concentrated on the dairy operation.
Roger and Peggy bought the farm from his parents in 1986.
The Engelmanns started building the herd, going up to 55 cows from 40. In 1993, they built a milking parlor and a free-stall barn, and the herd grew to 150 cows. Four years later, the herd was doubled to 300 cows.
“But the biggest changes came when the boys (their sons) came back from college,” said Roger Engelmann.

For more, see the Aug. 20 print edition of The Chronicle.