Battle Lake couple Valley Farmer and Homemaker [UPDATED]Published 10:35am Monday, February 4, 2013 Updated 12:39pm Monday, February 4, 2013
Allen and Jean Boyum of rural Battle Lake have been named the West Otter Tail County Valley Farmer and Homemaker for 2013. The couple will be honored at the West Otter Tail County Crop and Forage Show Feb. 6 at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls.
Up until recently, the Boyums ran a large dairy operation. In January, they sold the majority of their cattle and are now focused on growing crops. 700 acres of land on the Boyum’s farm will be planted in corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” said Jean. “With the dairy we were up at 5:30 a.m. milking, and it had to be done twice a day, seven days a week. Crop farming can be long hours too, but it is somewhat seasonal and there is a chance to take a break during the day.”
The couple still has 20 calves and about 140 heifers. Jean’s day involves being out helping to feed and milk the cows before 6 a.m., making breakfast at 10 a.m. then doing bookkeeping and housework before heading out to the barn again at 4 p.m. Come spring she’ll help with the tractor work too.
Allen has been a farmer for 36 years. His parents bought the property in 1955 and ran it as a dairy farm. Allen and Jean took over in 1991, and expanded the operation adding a free stall barn and parlor in seven years ago.
The Boyums have been married since 1981, and are the parents of three children, Aaron, Brett and Kristin. Jean has volunteered at Battle Lake School, and is the secretary of the council at Eagle Lake Church. Allen has been a high school referee and served on numerous boards. He is currently a director on the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator Board and Battle Lake School Board.
“I’m surprised they chose us,” Allen said. “We are honored to have the award.”