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M State instructor earns sustainable farming honor

Kent Solberg, an instructor in the Sustainable Food Production program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, has received one of the Minnesota Sustainable Farming Association's highest honors.

He and his wife, Linda, were presented with the Farmer Emeritus Award in recognition of their long-time work in advancing sustainable agriculture. They received the honor at the farming association's annual conference in St. Joseph in mid-February.

The Solbergs operate Seven Pines Farm near Verndale, and in 2010 they were among eight nominees for the Outstanding Conservationist award from the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and The Farmer magazine. Solberg said at the time that their farming philosophy focuses on "leaving the land better than we found it" and helping others interested in farming methods that restore the land.

Solberg began farming in 1997 after a career with state and federal natural resource agencies. He teaches a number of classes in the SFP program on the Fergus Falls campus, including courses in grass-based livestock, forage and crop systems, and practical farm skills.