AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER TO SINK FIRST PLOW AT OLIVER KELLEY FARM

For immediate release

Release dated: 
April 7, 2008
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen
Marketing and Communications
651-259-3148
jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

Bob Quist
Oliver H. Kelley Farm
763-441-6896
bob.quist@mnhs.org

AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER TO SINK FIRST PLOW AT OLIVER KELLEY FARM

Celebrate Sesquicentennial, 150 Years of Agriculture

On April 12 at 10:30 a.m. Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Gene Hugoson will sink the first plow of the year into the soil at the Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River. Much as farmers would have done 150 years ago, Commissioner Hugoson will plow behind the oxen to open another year of crop farming. He will also give remarks about the state's Sesquicentennial and the role of agriculture in today's economy.

The event is part of the Kelley Farm's Sesquicentennial Agriculture Opener on April 12 and 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. During the weekend event, visitors can reach out and touch the plants and animals that were so important to a family's survival 150 years ago. They can plow with Toby and Colter, the Kelley Farm's 2000-lb. oxen or work with Pete and Jack, the farm's Percheron draft horses as they prepare the fields or plant wheat. This year, the farm's young calves, Tip and Scythe, are working alongside their elders as they continue to learn to become handy steers. Also new this year are daily horse-drawn trolley rides along the Mississippi River and the site's nature trails. Other activities on the farm's "Sesquicentennial Agriculture Opener" include planting in the gardens and cooking in the old farmhouse. And new babies are expected in just about every pen and area of the barn -- lambs, piglets, kittens and chicks -- all expected to arrive in the spring.

Cost for the event is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students, $5 for children ages 6-17 and free for children age 5 and under and MHS members. The Oliver Kelley Farm is located at 15799 Kelley Farm Rd., just off U.S. Highway 10, in Elk River.

The Society’s calendar of events is posted on the Internet at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The web site also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites. To request a free guide to museums and historic sites, call 1-800-657-3773.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.