Saturday evening in the Livestock Show Arena at the Steele County Fair, Conrad Kvamme from Arlington was named the Steele County Free Fair KDHL Southern Minnesota Ag Ambassador of the Year. Kvamme was a dairy farmer and in 1972 established Space Age Dairy Sales. Kvamme still owns some pure-bred Holsteins and has been chairman of eight Minnesota Livestock organizations.

As past chairman of the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association, he helped establish the Miracle of Birth Center at the Minnesota State Fair. Kvamme has been very involved in the beef industry, teaching the Beef Quality Assurance Program, helped establish the Minnesota Foundation for Responsible Animal Care and many others. Kvamme has received many awards: Minnesota Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder of the Year, Holstein Association Person of the Year, was inducted into the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Hall of fame and many others. Finally, Kvamme has been involved in many promotions educating consumers of the nutritional benefits of beef and how cattlemen care for their animals.

Tim Larson from Medford was honored as one of the finalists for Southern Minnesota Ag Ambassador of the year. Larson grew up in Medford and started his 33-year teaching career in Medford. Sixteen years ago he started the FFA program in Medford after it had closed eight years earlier. He is involved in many farm groups, commodity organizations  and young farmer programs. Many students from surrounding schools do not have agriculture or FFA programs and have enrolled in Medford. The Medford FFA General Livestock judging team won the judging contest last spring at the state FFA Convention. All four members of the team go to school in Faribault but participate in the Medford FFA program. Two of the members were in eighth grade and the other two in 10th grade. It is very rare to see such young members win a contest at the State FFA Convention.

Mark Dietz from Owatonna also was honored as a finalist for AG Ambassador of the Year. Dietz grew up on a beef farm that was converted to a dairy farm. Dietz owns a beef herd providing cow-calf pairs to 4-H members, teaching them how to care for an animal and how to exhibit in the show ring. He has been involved in many commodity groups including the Steele County ADA. In addition, he is involved with the Owatonna High School Foundation, providing scholarships for students majoring in agriculture. Dietz and his wife own Mid-Sota Agronomy Products, which provides seed, pesticides and crop consulting to farmers.