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Aitkin County Farm Family

Wayne and Gabrea Anderson

Wayne grew up on a farm in Kanabec County with Black Angus cattle. Gabrea grew up on a dairy farm in Aitkin County milking Guernseys and Jerseys. Both were active in 4-H and FFA. Wayne had up to 70 cows but, due to illness and injury, needed to cut back and start over. Gabrea was active as a 4-H program leader in Idaho before coming back to farm ownership in 2005. Gabrea wanted to try raising a couple of goats, and soon goat numbers far outnumbered cows and a passion was found. She has since started helping 4-H members with their meat goat projects. In 2011, the Andersons purchased their new farm in Aitkin County just three miles from Gabrea's parents.

The Andersons’ farm is bordered by the Rice and Mississippi rivers. They rotationally graze 20 Black Angus cows and 30 Boer goats. They use winter feeding on pasture to improve soil health. Gabrea works for the Aitkin County Attorney’s Office, and the goats are a welcome respite after a hectic day. The support from Gabrea's parents, John and Pat Francis, has been paramount to their success.

Wayne and Gabrea’s son Robert, his wife Kayla and their daughter Ava have a beef cow/calf farm three miles away. Robert is employed by Midwest Machinery. Kayla works at Mid-Minnesota Credit Union. 4-year-old granddaughter Ava has been coming to the farm for 'Grandpa Daycare' since she was born. She keeps grandpa occupied and out of mischief. 

Wayne and Gabrea’s son Ryan and his wife, Nicole, have a beef farm two miles away. They do commercial cow/calf but also are building a registered Black Angus herd. Ryan is employed by the USDA and Nicole works for Lexington Manufacturing.

Daughter Emma, her fiancé, Alex, and their daughter Addisyn live near Pine City and visit the farm to help whenever they can. Emma is a caregiver and works in assisted living facilities. Alex works with underground piping, enjoys maintenance, and is a great equipment operator. The Andersons’ granddaughter, Addisyn, is a good tractor driver and helps feed cows, loves the garden vegetables, and is amazing with all the animals.

Wayne is currently serving on the Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District. He has been active with the Snake River Valley Cattlemen's Association and served as a township supervisor and a 4-H club leader. Gabrea is an active Aitkin County Fair Board member and a member of the Minnesota Boer Goat Association. She is a former Kanabec County 4-H program coordinator, and 4-H Club leader, and has assisted with the Greater Mille Lacs Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association.

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