Anita, Glenn and Amanda Jensen are pictured with JFS Jensens Dream, also known as Dreamer.

Jensens love country life

Jensens named 2015 Farm Family
Jensens named 2015 Farm Family On Thursday, August 6, Jensen Family Shorthorn / the Glenn and Anita Jensen family of Springfield will be recognized as a 2015 Farm Family by the University of Minnesota at an annual ceremony during Farmfest. The Jensen family is among 80 farm families from throughout Minnesota being recognized by the University. Farm families are a major driver of Minnesota’s economy and our rural communities. The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities. University of Minnesota units sponsoring this award include University of Minnesota Extension; College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“We wish we could farm full time,” says Glenn Jensen, whose family is being honored as a 2015 Farm Family by the University of Minnesota. 

However, not being fulltime farmers does not, deter Glenn, wife Anita, and daughter Amanda from living and loving the country life.

Glenn and Anita both grew up on family farms — Anita in Eden Township north of Sleepy Eye, and Glenn in Sundown Township northwest of Springfield, and want to leave a legacy of this traditional life in all its variety and vitality.  Rural values create communities of purpose, the close-knit family being the epitome of traditional values that help create a sense of community and belonging.

The Jensens live on a 40-acre farm in Sundown Township. On 26 acres tillable land, the Jensens rotate crops of corn and soybeans with alfalfa. Glenn’s brother, Grant, does the crop farming and the men enjoy a good relationship sharing labor and equipment. The alfalfa is fed to the cattle, cornstalks are utilized for bedding, and manure is returned to the soil. 

The Shorthorn cow /calf operation, now with 30 head of registered cattle, is the Jensens’ pride and joy. 

“That began with Amanda and Adam through 4-H,” said Anita Jensen during a recent interview. “This whole cow/calf operation and choosing the Shorthorn breed was theirs.  Glenn and I said that we would support them in the venture, but they needed to commit to it.”

“We chose Shorthorn because of their disposition,” said Amanda.  That met the approval of their parents. “Shorthorns are docile, and with our kids working with them that was important to us,” said Glenn.

The Shorthorn breed of cattle originated in North East England in the late 18th century. The breed was developed as dual purpose, suitable for both dairy and beef production. According to the National Shorthorn Association, the breeders took a division between emphasizing beef qualities of milking abilities via contemporaneous breeding programs, developing an animal of strong constitution that could easily put on fat, while still focusing on the milking aspect.  

“I like breeding them,” said Amanda. “You never get the same color twice. It’s kinda fun to see what you get.” Shorthorn cattle are colored red, white or roan. “With Shorthorns, you get a variety of colors anything from all white to red and anything in between,” explained Glenn. 

 “Amanda and Adam concentrated on quality rather than quantity,” said Glenn. “Amanda has done a very good job on genetic selections. She has natural talent and she’s very good at judging cattle.”  She is also appreciative of advice from her parents, teachers and experienced farmers. “I’ve learned a lot just listening to them,” Amanda acknowledged.  “I’m still learning.” 

Both Adam and Amanda learned much through their participation in 4-H and FFA.  Both participated in the Minnesota Youth Beef Experience Program (MYBEP) and were awarded heifer calves.  Each winner is responsible for raising, breeding and maintaining complete records on care of the animal while providing monthly progress reports to the original owner and the Minnesota Beef Expo. The breeders who donate heifers to the program also serve as mentors. “That required a great commitment and it was a great experience for them,” noted Glenn.    “At that time of their life it kept them very focused.”  For the complete story see this week's Springfield Advance-Press

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