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University of Minnesota Extension

Clearwater County Farm Family

Rusten Family Farms

Rusten Farms began in 1896 when immigrant ancestors from Norway homesteaded the farm. It later became a dairy farm, run by the second generation of the family. The next generation operated a grain and hay farm on the land, added two additional farms and beef cattle, and no longer milked cows.

Through the 1990s, more land was rented as Mayo and Linda Rusten moved out of cattle and continued with hay and grain. In recent years, the hay ground was discontinued and one more farm was purchased, bringing the total farm size to 606 acres of owned land and 1,110 acres of rented land.

The current farm operation is mostly corn, soybeans and wheat. The fourth generation of the family, John and Kristi, along with their son, Graeme, has been actively helping on the farm and are in the process of moving back to it. They are taking over management of the farms and investing in the operation.

Mayo Rusten is the owner/operator of the farm, he also works off the farm as a tax preparer and consultant. Linda works off the farm and lends a hand when needed and provides much-welcomed meals. John also is an owner/operator of the farm. Kristi works as a teacher and helps on the farm when she is needed. Five-year-old Graeme is the fifth generation of the Rusten family. He thinks the farm is the grandest place to be and likes to be included in day-to-day activities.

Mayo is active in church and has been a member of local cooperatives. Linda is a church musician and serves as a Clearwater County Fair building superintendent.

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