Local News

Garfield Family Named U of M’s Farm Family of the Year


A Garfield family is being named the U of M’s 2022 Douglas County farm family of the year. Jeff and Jane Ways vegetable production makes an important impact at local farmers markets, restaurants and Community Supported Agriculture.

Ida Valley Farm
FB: Ida Valley Farm

Ida Valley Farm

Jeff and Jane grew up in farming families and, with that background, they decided to start a vegetable raising business north of Garfield near Alexandria. The couple grows a variety of vegetables using sustainable methods and following organic principles. They use cover crops and organic fertilizers.

The Ways market their vegetable production through a CSA and at the Alexandria Farmers Market. They also sell their produce to a couple of local restaurants in Alexandria as well as off the farm.

Jeff and Jane are married and have 3 grown children, Ariel, Megen and Gabby, plus one granddaughter and another grandchild on the way. The Ways served as 4-H club leaders when their children were involved in 4-H. Jeff served 13 years as a Garfield first responder and is currently a supervisor on the Ida Township board.

Farm Family recognition program

The University of Minnesota Farm Family Recognition Program honors farm families from throughout Minnesota for their significant contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities. Click here for the full 2022 list!!

The Farm Family Recognition Program has honored Minnesota farmers since 1979. It is coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine.