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University of Minnesota Extension

Winona County Farm Family

Lee and Nancy West

The West family farm was established by Wayne and Leona when they purchased it in 1962. Wayne worked off the farm while putting in crops on the weekends and evenings. In 1968, he started dairying full time and bought more land as it became available.

Wayne and Leona’s son, Lee, always had an interest in the dairy and returned to the farm full time in 1980 after graduating from the University of Minnesota. Over time, Lee added some land and purchased all the cattle. In 2013, after Wayne’s death, the farm was divided among Wayne and Leona’s children. Lee and Nancy live on the original farmstead.

The current operation consists of nearly 400 acres of cropland, woods and pasture, and 30 beef cattle. Lee and Nancy retired from dairy farming in 2019 and now most of the acres are rented out. Lee still manages some row crops, hay acres and pastureland.

Lee is the owner/operator of the farm. Nancy is his farming partner and works off the farm. Their daughter Lori and her husband, Ernie Hokanson, help when needed as do Lee and Nancy’s daughter Brenda and her husband, Ryan Mantueful.

Lee and Nancy have been active 4-H leaders for 40 years. Nancy worked with the Winona County 4-H food stand for over 25 years. She is a 4-H judge at area county fairs. Nancy is also involved in church as a trustee, serves on pastoral and finance councils, and is a faith formation teacher.

Lee, Lori and Brenda all served as state 4-H ambassadors. Lori was part of Winona County’s Dairy Princess team and a Princess Kay finalist.

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