Dean and Naomi Hanson, Trail, were named the Minnesota 2011 Outstanding Conservationists at the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District's recent annual meeting.
The Hansons own and rent 1,100 acres and manage a 160 Red Angus cow-calf pair herd. They practice rotational grazing on roughly 400 acres and raise pasture, alfalfa and some crops on the remaining ground. Their farm is enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The Hansons are active promoters of grazing and host tours of their family's fourth generation farm.
"Winning the district award and the state award were big surprises," Dean says. "I wasn't expecting to win. I tried to turn down [the nomination from the county office] last summer because there were bound to be more people than me who deserved this. When we were on stage [at the convention], I was still surprised."
The Hansons also were chosen as Area 1 winners for their conservation efforts.
Other Area winners were:
-Area 2—Dan and Jolene Schlangen, Eden Valley
-Area 3—Blackhoof Township Supervisors, Carlton
-Area 4—City of Prior Lake
-Area 5—Michelle and Mark Hogan, John Hogan, Kim and Scott Olafson, Morton
-Area 6—Edward Gaasch, Morton
-Area 7—Larry and Irene Mathison, and Loren and Carrie Mathison, Preston
-Area 8—Wadena Area Replant Project CommitteeThe award is sponsored in part by The Farmer.