And the award goes to ::: Argil Froemke!! Argil is usually referred to as Grandpa in our house; he is Steven’s maternal grandpa and we are so very proud of him.
Every year for the past 49 years the Crop and Livestock Improvement Association have a banquet where an Agriculturalist from Ransom County is chosen for the amazing things they have done for Ag!! The person selected must apply to get nominated (the app is usually done by a family member or someone close to the nominee) and then there is a selection process, the applications for nomination will stay in consideration until the person gets picked or passes away; Grandpa’s app was put in last year by a few sneaky people. The award is a surprise to the recipient (that is if people can keep their mouth shut – small towns and all) and this year we did a good job of keeping the secret because Grandpa & Grandma were totally surprised.
This is an award I hope to see my father-in-law and husband win sometime in their lifetime. Steve’s Great-Grandpa and Grandpa Rotenberger have both received the Title of Agriculturalist of the Year in 2001 and 2004 respectively so it would be neat to have all the Rotenberger men carry this title.
After the award winner is announced there is supper and then entertainment. This year was nationally known motivational speaker Renee Rongen. I thought she was hilarious and had a great message about legacy and what impact you are having on the people in your life.
Here is the what was read at the Ag Banquet to announce Grandpa as the recipient:
The 2013 Agriculturalist of the Year recipient was born on December 23, 1928 and grew up in the Shenford Township. He was the youngest of 5 children and grew up on the family farm that was homesteaded by his grandfather in 1881 and is the current site of where he and his wife reside. While growing up they raised beef and dairy cattle, chickens and hogs, they also farmed 350+ acres. They used horses mostly to get their farming done. When he was 17 he started farming with his dad and brother. In 1950 during the Korean Conflict he joined the armed forces through 1952. When he returned home to the farm he began helping his father and brother until his brother bought his own farm. On January 23, 1955 he married the love of his life and that year they took over the farm from his dad.
The first year of farming on their own; it was one of the driest years they could recall living through. The wind blew the sandy soil around and he had to replant his crops several times. At this time there was only 1 tree on the farm and since this they have planted several trees around the farmstead and throughout many of their fields. They also raised 150 beef cows, and fed out around 600 head of beef steers and hogs each year.
From 1957 to 1962 the farm served as an experimental Irrigation Farm. It was one of three farms chosen in the state by the Bureau of Reclamation for an experiment in flood irrigation practices. This program was backed by the Garrison Diversion. They experimented with this type of irrigation practice on crops such as corn and sugar beets. The farm was the first irrigation farm in Ransom County and today you can still see some of the ditches for the flood irrigation around the farm. From the irrigation ditches they eventually moved into the traveling guns and then onto sprinkler systems.
They sold their first plow they bought and are working their way into No Tilling. They have planted over 11,000 feet of shelter belts around the original 350 acres of the family owned farmland and homestead.
The Agriculturalist of the Year began his education in a rural Shenford Township School, and then attended Lisbon High School. Today he still has his hands in the operation, but has turned most of the work over to his two sons. They still farm the original 350 acres as well as rented cropland. Their crop rotation consists mainly of corn and soybeans.
His community involvement includes serving on the Shenford Township Board for many years, President of the Anselm Lutheran Church, Sheldon’s Lions Club Member, and member of the Garrison Diversion Board for 25 years.
Argil Froemke and his wife Holly have 6 children, 12 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Their children include Ricky who passed away in 1968 from cancer, Kim and his wife Janet and their family, Kerry and his wife Jodi and their family, Kristen and her husband Fred Schultz and their family live in Truckee, CA, Brett who resides in Williston, and Lynn Rotenberger and her family.
Please help me congratulate the 2013 Agriculturalist of the Year Argil and Holly Froemke.