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University of Minnesota Extension

Crow Wing County Farm Family

The Vissers

Benvelle Equestrian Center

Dean and Briana Visser purchased 80 acres of land from Briana’s grandfather in 1992. The purchase created the opportunity for Brainerd Lakes area residents and beyond to enjoy the wonderful world of horses. The couple established Benvelle Equestrian Center, naming it after Briana’s grandparents, Bennie and LaVelle Myers. The property also contained a beautiful tree farm and provided hay fields and pastureland.

Benvelle Equestrian Center provides boarding opportunities for horses as well as education for both horse and rider. The facility includes a stable, indoor and outdoor riding arena, exercise rings, obstacle areas, and many acres of wooded riding trails.

Dean oversees the boarding operation and takes care of property maintenance. Briana handles the bookkeeping and the education programs for horses and humans. Their daughter, Alexis Gerst, was involved in all aspects of the business growing up and currently handles marketing and social media. Alexis currently lives in Utah while serving in the U.S. Air Force. The Vissers’ son, Ryan, is Dean’s right-hand man helping with maintenance, repairs, building projects and anything else that is asked of him. Ryan is also employed at Lexington Manufacturing in Brainerd.

The Visser family is a proud sponsor of Minnesota 4-H.

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