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Still going strong: Seven senior Upper Midwest farmers

Senior farmers play a huge role, performing many and varied duties, across Agweek Country. Here are seven farmers and ranchers who remain active well past traditional retirement age. (Information and photos supplied by the producers or family mem...

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Senior farmers play a huge role, performing many and varied duties, across Agweek Country. Here are seven farmers and ranchers who remain active well past traditional retirement age. (Information and photos supplied by the producers or family members.)

 

Raymond Efta, 90, Greenbush, Minn. (Submitted photo)
Raymond Efta, 90, Greenbush, Minn. (Submitted photo)

Raymond Efta, 90, Greenbush, Minn.

Farmowner for 67 years. Recent work includes maintaining CRP acres and planting wheat.

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In past years has raised wheat, oats, sunflowers, sweet clover, hay, timothy, flax, soybeans and corn for livestock. Once had beef and dairy cattle, too.

 

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George A. Forward, 89, Oakes, N.D. (Submitted photo)
George A. Forward, 89, Oakes, N.D. (Submitted photo)

George A. Forward, 89, Oakes, N.D.

Farmed for 70 years. Now runs for parts, hauls fertilizer tanks to fields and operates a combine during soybean and corn harvest.

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Now raises only corn and soybeans. In the past raised spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, pinto beans, navy beans, sunflowers, oats, rye, millet, flax and alfalfa. Once raised hogs and milked a few cows, too.

 

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Marvin Wanzek, 84, Jamestown, N.D. (Submitted photo)
Marvin Wanzek, 84, Jamestown, N.D. (Submitted photo)

Marvin Wanzek, 84, Jamestown, N.D.

Began farming with feeding livestock at age 8. Current role is giving rides, running parts, bringing food and occasionally driving the tractor for tillage.

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Now raises only grain. But for many years had livestock, too.

 

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Bette Wagner, 72, Forbes, N.D. (Submitted photo)
Bette Wagner, 72, Forbes, N.D. (Submitted photo)

Bette Wagner, 72, Forbes,N.D.

Ranching for 52 years. Became widowed about 4 years ago, but continues on her own as full-time owner/operator, doing whatever is necessary.

Cow-calf producer.

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Kermit Hansen, 78, Ryder, N.D. (Submitted photo)
Kermit Hansen, 78, Ryder, N.D. (Submitted photo)

Kermit Hansen, 78, Ryder, N.D.

Farmed all his life, still-active owner/operator with son, Kevin, and grandson, Wyatt.

Raises spring wheat, durum, canola, corn, soybeans and sunflowers, as well as registered and commercial Simmental/Angus cattle.

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To see a video of Kermit, click here .

 

 

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Donald Baumgarten, 85, Casselton, N.D. (Submitted photo)
Donald Baumgarten, 85, Casselton, N.D. (Submitted photo)

Donald Baumgarten, 85, Casselton, N.D.

Farmed for 64 years.

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Raises hard red spring and soybeans.

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Dennis Beneda, 83, Lankin, N.D.

Farmed for 70 years. Helps on the family farm owned and operated by his son, Don, and grandson, Keith. Among other work, does all field work (cultivation and rock picking) in the spring ahead of the seeding/planting and operates a combine during harvest. Didn't think he would ever use auto steer, but now does.

Raises 1,800 acres of wheat, soybeans and edible beans, and involved in a sixty-head cow/calf operation. 

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To read about a farmer turning 100, click  here .

To read about talking to talking to older agriculturalists about safety, click  here .

To read about resources, click  here .

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