Ellingson Family named Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce Farm Family of the Year

Farm Forum

Man. Woman. Children. Working together to earn what they need to survive from nature.

It might be the oldest story in human history, and it’s the foundation for any successful society. Despite shrinking numbers, farming families still tell that story today in South Dakota with their hard work and determination.

Each year, the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee and the Farm Forum present the Farm Family of the Year Award to one such family that best represents farming, ranching and the spirit of agriculture in northeastern South Dakota. The 2014 Farm Family of the Year is the John and Nicole Ellingson family.

John Ellingson represents the 4th generation to operate his family-owned grain and cattle farm that started in 1882 near Stratford. As soon as he could walk, John helped his father, Richard, on the farm. In July, Richard passed away, but the ideals nurtured by the family continue. The farm was the place that made Richard the happiest, and it does for John and his family, too.

In addition to the work they do on the farm, John and his wife, Nicole, are raising the next generation of Ellingson farmers. Their daughter Taylor is a freshman at Northern State University, and she helps anytime she is needed. Daughters Logan and Peyton attend high school in Warner, help out on the farm, and are active in 4-H. Their son, Landon, is in the 5th grade, and he is always found right at John’s side, learning what it takes to run a successful farm. The lessons John and Nicole are teaching their children are already paying off — Logan and Landon save their money to buy their own cattle, feed and raise them, and reap the profits when it’s time to sell.

The Ellingsons work to stay current on the latest crop and cattle research. They stay as educated as possible on both the newest techniques and what has worked well in the past so they can make educated decisions on the farm.

The Ellingsons are also active in their community. They are always ready to lend a helping hand when needed. Also, every member of the family has been active in the Stratford Community Theater, from preparing food to acting in plays to washing dishes.

Growing crops, raising cattle, passing on knowledge and work ethic to their children, participating in their community, John and Nicole Ellingson, are examples of successful family farmers, and I’m honored to recognize them as the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce Farm Family of the Year.