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by Trinity Gruenberg

trinity@inhnews.com

Honoring farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their local community is what the University of Minnesota has done for the past 30 years. The 2019 Wadena County Farm Family of the Year was awarded to Kent and Linda Solberg of rural Verndale during the Wadena County Fair. 

They were nominated by Wadena County Commissioner Chuck Horsager. His parents Clarence and Mary Horsager are the Solbergs’  neighbors. 

The Solbergs moved to the area in 2003 from a farm between Brainerd and Garrison. Verndale was a more central area for the groups they are involved with. The spring road restrictions at their previous location made it difficult to  transport freight. 

Their location on County Road 23, north of Verndale, offered more flexibility and convenience with beef cattle until 2004.

“The market evaporated. It just disappeared in 2004. We had to do something. We had beef cows and we swapped the beef cattle for dairy,” said Kent.

“We had neighbors who had a dairy and helped us figure out how to get the parlor set up,” said Linda.

“And off we went,” they both chimed in.

Twenty head of cattle enjoy grazing their 80 acres of land. 

While the couple may not have children of their own, there have been many throughout the years from college interns, a couple of high school kids, nieces and nephews who spend time there in the summer, and even respite foster care for kids for a few years to give foster parents a break. 

There are two houses on the property. Their main house, a two story log cabin style and a pole shed that has been converted into a home.  . . . .

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