Perry Oftedahl of Hanley Falls, Minnesota, has been deemed one of NorthStar Genetics’ Community Stars, awarding him $1,000 to give to a local charity of his choice, helping him strengthen his community. NorthStar Genetics’ Community Star winners are selected based on nominations of exceptional community members who have gone above and beyond to help their community thrive.
Perry Oftedahl contributes to his rural community through educating in his local chapter of FFA, YME (Yellow Medicine East high school) FFA. Oftedahl farms corn and soybeans, so was a natural fit to become involved with FFA. He became involved through his son, who passed away in a farming accident.
Rather than quitting the program, he became even more involved. “It started out as good therapy for me after he died,” Oftedahl says. “I just kept getting more and more involved, and as it went on, I was like, I kind of enjoy helping these kids. I thoroughly enjoy being connected with them.” Oftedahl started a scholarship in his son’s name to continue the legacy of rural education in his community.
“The students come to help with research plots and help put them in and take them out. It went from there, and kept growing and growing,” Oftedahl says. “When Adam died in 2000, there were 16 students and now there are 60 or 70. It’s fun for me to see these students after high school go to college for agriculture and come back to the area.”
Oftedahl doesn’t just aim to keep his son’s memory alive, he also strongly believes in helping educators. “We have a dynamic ag teacher at the high school, but teachers can’t do it alone,” he says. “No matter what it is, they need outside help, parents or other people in the community. Because it’s a pretty big task. I like to say it takes a community to raise a child, it truly does.” Oftedahl plans to donate his winnings right back into YME FFA.
With his time and efforts concentrated into helping his community thrive, YME FFA is sure to continue down the path of growth and expansion in Minnesota, helping rural communities succeed for future generations. NorthStar Genetics is a trusted seed company because of their dedication to local growers and conditions, providing seed that is grown and conditioned locally on the same land as the farmers who grow it. By testing hundreds of varieties, they are able to designate them to specific areas based on local conditions and be confident that they will perform. NorthStar Genetics proudly serves four states, offering the highest quality, locally proven genetics available.