From the U of M Extension Office:
Pine City, Minn. (July 5, 2022) —The Barr family of rural Sandstone has been named Pine
County’s “2022 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.
Joel and Megan Barr began farming over a decade ago as interns on an organic farm. After
moving up to management, they set out on their own and launched Abraham’s Table Farm in
2015. The farm was started on a friend’s land where it gained some stability before Joel and
Megan transitioned to their own land. The Barrs have slowly grown Abraham’s Table Farm,
always focusing on direct-to-consumer sales through a CSA.
Abraham’s Table Farm has committed to building and maintaining personal relationships with its customers. The farm is a small family farm because the Barrs believe that small, human-scaled agriculture that connects people back to the land is the key to ecological and human health.
The Barrs’ farm operates on about 20 acres. The family grows organic produce, pasture-raised, soy-free chickens and eggs, and grass-fed beef. The Barrs deliver products through their CSA to customers’ homes and drop sites. They also host members-only events on the farm. The Barrs focus on soil health to increase fertility and sustainability.
Joel and Megan co-own Abraham’s Table Farm; Joel is the head farmer and manager; Megan
manages the home half of the farm. They have four daughters: Una, Rosemary, Frances and
Beatrice. Joel’s brother, Daniel, is the garden manager.
Joel is a consultant and is currently establishing a second sustainable farm at Osprey Wilds, a local environmental education non-profit. Joel is a trustee at the family’s church. Megan is board chair at a local non-profit that provides regular free meals for the community. She is also one of the frontwomen in the band “The Minorbirds,” and teaches dance and ballet locally.
Locally, Joel and Megan Barr will be recognized as Pine County’s Farm Family of the Year
during the Pine County Fair. A presentation will take place prior to the 4-H Livestock Auction
on Saturday, August 6 at 1:30 p.m.in the Harry Haug Livestock Arena.
Farm families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, August 4 at the annual
Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Profiles of the 2022 honorees and information on the
recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website.
Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension
committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.
“These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota's economy and the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of the University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.”
Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include the University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Photo provided by U of M Extention Office