Townsends named Groton Chamber Farm Family of the Year

Farm Forum

The Dean and Kellie Townsend family was awarded the 2013 Farm Family of the Year award by the Groton Area Chamber of Commerce. This is the second annual award.

Michelle Muilenburg, Chamber president, said, “We are very happy to have Dean and Kellie as our 2013 family. They will be great ambassadors for the Chamber and what this award exemplifies for us.”

Other family members who are an important part of the Townsend farm are parents Norman and Doris Townsend who offer irreplaceable advice and support, brother Gaylon Townsend and brother-in-law Wade Gubrud as agronomy advisors. Also, crucial to the farm’s success is employee Chris Goldade and his wife, Lindsey.

The farm is located 3 miles north, 7 east, 2 north and 1 1/4 east of Groton.

Dean and Kellie have two children: Cassandra 12 (cowgirl daughter) and Travis 9 (future engineer son).

The Townsend operation started in 1986, with the help of Groton FFA Alumni’s Bred Guilt Ring to get started in hogs. They then switched to beef cattle with the initial support of their parents. The grain farming side of the operation started in 1990.

The Townsends said, “We pride ourselves in caring for our rented land in the same way as we care for the land we own. Throughout the years we have been blessed to have the support of neighbors and area businesses through advice and products.”

The Townsends are active in producing corn, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat. In the Red Angus beef cattle operation they are mostly a cow/calf operation. They also background their calves with occasionally finishing them.

Their children are also starting into the farming operation at an early age. “They each own livestock, with one-half of their income to go into savings for their education,” Dean said. “We’re hoping this will instill the value of a dollar in them.”

There are challenges to a farming operation. “We are always working hard to increase productivity and profit,” Dean said. “We have been cutting costs and increasing yields and weight gains. We are working hard on instilling great South Dakota values and responsibility into our children, which can be a challenge!”

The family is also involved in many aspects of the community. “We take pride in our neighborhood, keeping the ditches mowed and roads cleared and maintained,” Dean said. “We’re always trying to lend a hand as needed.”

Dean is involved in several areas of the community. He is a past director for Full Circle Ag and SD Wheat Growers, and a past president and past council member at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Groton. He is a current board member of the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association. Dean is also a member of AQHA, SDQHA, Groton Masonic Lodge, Groton FFA Alumni, SDSBA, SDCGA, and NFIB.

Kellie is also involved in many activities. She is president of the Groton Elementary PAC (Parent Action Committee), a Sunday school teacher, coordinator for VBS and is involved with 4-H. Their children are involved in 4-H, shooting sports, piano, band, and guitar. Cassandra and Travis are both members of the Lazy Farmers 4-H club. Cassandra is a member of AQHA & SDYQHA and is quite involved in Quarter Horse shows through 4-H horse project and American Quarter Horse shows statewide.