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University of Minnesota Extension

Rice County Farm Family

Ray and Darlene Larson Farm

Ray grew up on a small hobby farm west of Northfield and Darlene grew up on a dairy farm near Webster. The couple were married in 1977 and purchased Ray's aunt's farm west of Northfield on Highway 19.

Over the years, the Larsons have raised com, soybeans, canning crops and hay, with hay being the major enterprise. They also raise about 80 beef cattle a year with around 18 head each year that are purchased directly by customers. The Larsons have moved to no-till practices with their soybeans and minimal tilling of the com. The farm is a Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certified farm through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Ray and Darlene have two children, John and Emily. John and his family operate Bridgewater Farm Pumpkin Patch at the family’s farm every fall. They also help when needed on the farm. Emily and her family live in Dallas, Texas and visit twice a year. They really enjoy the activities on the farm.

Ray was a board member of the Cannon Valley Co-op for 15 years. Ray and Darlene are active members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Northfield where Ray has served as an elder, head usher, and sings in the choir. Darlene is on the fellowship committee and altar guild. Ray serves on the Bridgewater Planning and Zoning and the Northfield Retirement Facility committees. Darlene volunteers as a Bridgewater election judge. The Larsons have been longtime supporters and volunteers with their local FFA and 4-H. In the fall, Ray and Darlene enjoyed seeing the families come to the farm for the Pumpkin Patch and to see the animals and learn about agriculture.

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