Weather Forecast


Local farmer helps promote Minnesota agriculture

Submitted Photo Matt Widboom stands in one of his soybean fields north of Worthington. The local farmer is featured in the Farmers Feed Us program, geared to educate consumers about commodities grown in Minnesota.

Website gives consumers chance to win a year of free groceries

WORTHINGTON -- Matt Widboom is one of nine farmers to be featured on a new website designed to educate Minnesota's consumers about the crops and livestock grown on farms across the state. Not only can consumers get a virtual tour of a working family farm, they can register for the chance to win a year's worth of free groceries.

The website,, features two Minnesota dairy farmers and one farmer each from the state's chicken, egg, pork, beef, turkey, corn and soybean industries. Widboom shares information about the soybean industry in a pair of short video clips meant to connect consumers with the farmers who grow their food.

"I am proud to represent Minnesota farmers from the soybean industry and one of the nine different trade groups that have partnered to promote production agriculture in Minnesota," said Widboom on Monday morning.

Earlier this summer, a video and camera crew visited the rural Worthington family farm to collect footage of Widboom and his father, John, working on their corn, soybean and cattle operation.

In the video clips, Widboom talks about how his grandfather settled the farm in the late 1930s, and how he and wife Teresa are now raising the fourth generation on the farm. They have a 1,000-head cattle finishing operation, grow corn that ends up as livestock feed for other Minnesota farmers and grow soybeans processed into biodiesel.

The Center for Food Integrity established the Farmers Feed Us program, which has now launched in several Midwestern states. Both Minnesota and South Dakota links went live at noon Monday. Visitors who follow the Minnesota link will be able to view video clips of the nine farmers and register for the chance to win free groceries. People can register up to nine times per day -- once on each farmer profile -- every day through the end of the program on Nov. 6.

Each of Minnesota's commodity groups, along with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and some agricultural industries and associations, are funding the grocery give-away, Widboom said.

"As the consumer and the disconnect from where their food comes from continues to widen, it's vitally important for the future of rural America and farming to provide the facts on how our food is produced," he said. "This website uses the latest in technology and consumers have constant access to it."

Other Minnesota farmers, and the commodities they represent, featured on the Farmers Feed Us website include Brian Asmus, egg farmer from Winthrop; Judy Bode, hog farmer from Courtland; Shannon Kuball, dairy farmer from Waterville; Kent Meschke, turkey farmer from Little Falls; Brian Schafer, cattle farmer from Goodhue; Greg Schwarz, corn farmer from Le Sueur; Charity Vold, dairy farmer from Glenwood; and Bill Wuertz, chicken farmer from Paynesville.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

(507) 376-7330