It was 100 years ago yesterday that the Dakota County Farm Bureau was organized. Yes, Thursday the Dakota County Farm Bureau celebrated their 100 anniversary. In recognition of that, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a State of Minnesota Proclamation declaring Thursday, February 16, 2017, to be Dakota County Farm Bureau Day. Charlie Radman is the current president of the Dakota County Farm Bureau. Kevin Chamberlain is the vice president. I had the opportunity to talk with Charlie about the history of the Dakota County Farm Bureau.

The group actually started as the Dakota County Improvement Club in 1914. In 1917, the name and association was changed to a county farm bureau. Charlie said there were about a dozen other county farm bureaus in Minnesota at that time. This was even before we had a state farm bureau organization. One of their roles was to provide information to farmers on how to improve and manage their farms and business. They actually hired and managed a county agent before the University of Minnesota Extension Service assumed the role!

In those early days, the Dakota County Farm Bureau also had a governing role with what was called a Boys and Girls Club. That changed into what we now know as 4-H. The first meetings were held in the Livestock Exchange Building in South St. Paul. The building still exists as a Minnesota historic landmark. Whenever I hear history stories like this I just think wow, the wisdom and forethought of the agricultural leaders at that time!

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