Simonsen elected to MARL board

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Farm Forum

Marshall, Minn. — Paul Simonsen was recently elected as the new board director for the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership program.

Simonsen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota. After college, he taught Vocational Agriculture for 11 years at Olivia (Minn.) High School before returning home to take over his family’s farm.

The list of Simonsen’s extensive agriculture involvement includes County Farm Bureau, past president of Minnesota Corn Growers, and Past chair of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. He chaired several committees in each organization, including four years as International Marketing/Market Development Chair for the MSRPC.

Simonsen also served on the Executive Board and Beef Steering Committee for the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Currently, he is the Clerk of his township board and chairman of Renville County Township Association.

Community involvement is important to Simonsen, as well. He is involved with his parish and has been an E.M.T. and the past President of the Olivia J.C.’s.

“I firmly believe that rural leadership development is, and will continue to be, extremely important for agriculture and farmers so that they can maintain and improve their own well-being going into the future. I think we all agree that agriculture will need a strong voice and leaders who are empowered with knowledge to continue to protect our way of life,” he said.

Simonson and his wife, Janet, have farmed near Fairfax, Minn., for the past 35 years. They have three grown children.

The MARL program is a dynamic leadership development program for active and engaged adult agricultural and rural leaders in Minnesota. Every two years, a class of approximately 30 participants is selected. Each class has approximately two-thirds of participants involved in production agriculture, and the remaining one-third are business, civic, government and organization leaders in rural Minnesota agriculture.

To learn more about the MARL Program, visit the web site: www.MARLprogram.org.