The Jim and Sally Myers family of Andover has been named Anoka County’s “2017 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.
Jim and Sally have been beekeepers for the past nine years. They enjoyed the bee exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair and decided it was time to start raising their own bees. The Myers started Cedar Creek Honey with three hives and have grown their operation to more than 25 hives.
Many of the hives are kept on their property in Andover. Others are located elsewhere, including some on Dehn’s Farms in Andover to help with the pollination of their crops. These hives produce approximately 1,800 pounds of honey a year which they sell at many festivals in the area including Oak Grove’s Acorn Days, Andover Fun Fest, and Anoka’s River Fest. They also sell their product at farmer’s markets in Andover and at 3M and have many customers come to their home to purchase honey.
Jim and Sally’s sons, John and Dave, help during the honey harvest and daughters-in-law Heather and Angela, along with granddaughter Amanda, help sell the Myers’ honey at area vents. Jim is a certified master beekeeper from the University of Nebraska and a former member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association. He teaches bee keeping locally and gives presentations on bees and other pollinators to area schools, clubs and organizations including the Isaac Walton League, local garden clubs, and the Anoka County Master Gardeners. A leader in the Andover Pollinator Awareness Project, he gives talks on the subject at the YMCA and other places throughout the area. During the summer, Jim and Sally invite groups of home schooled children to their home to learn about bees, native bees, pollinators and pollinator friendly gardening. In addition to these talks, he has collected thousands of seeds from his property for pollinators that he packages and hands out at his talks and events including the Pollinator Party in Andover, which he helps organize, and Andover’s Arbor Day Celebration.
Jim and Sally make and sell hives and Jim also mentors new beekeepers. He serves as a honey judge and volunteer at the Minnesota State Fair honey competition.
The families were officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, August 3 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls. Profiles of the 2017 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website, www.mnfarmfamilies.cfans.umn.edu/.
Families receiving honors were selected by their local county University of Minnesota Extension committees and have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture and agriculture production.
“The farm families receiving this year’s honors exemplify what makes Minnesota agriculture strong. They bring innovation, science, and hard work to farming. They care greatly about the land and animals and delivering quality products to consumers worldwide,” said Bev Durgan, Dean of Extension. “The University of Minnesota takes pride in honoring these families.”
Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine.