Minnesota Farm Families of 2020 are being honored virtually this year, celebrated in an online video tribute led by University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel and available 1 p.m. Thursday, August 6. A U of M Extension Committee chooses one family per county based on their commitment to their communities and for enhancing and supporting agriculture. We will be spotlighting a few of this year’s honorees this week.
The Chippewa County Farm Family of 2020 is the Paul Spray Family.
Paul grew up on a dairy farm and has been actively farming since 1978. The Spray farm has been home to hogs, cattle, chickens and sheep. The family still raises sheep. The Sprays maintain a 400-head ewe flock comprised of purebred Columbia and Rambouillet, in addition to the farm’s commercial flock. The Sprays also grow corn, soybeans, oats, wheat and hay.
Paul is the owner-operator of the farm. His wife, Patee, helps wherever she is needed. The Sprays’ daughter Andrea fits and shows the purebred sheep as well as other required tasks. Andrea’s husband, Andrew Westra, is active in the daily operation of the livestock and crop businesses. Andrea and Andrew’s sons, Gauge and Gunner, are big helpers with the flock. Paul and Patee’s daughter Anisa, along with her husband, Dan Weldon, enjoy returning to the farm from Woodbury to help with the livestock.
Paul was the first generation of his family to enroll in 4-H. His grandsons, Gauge and Gunner, are the third generation. The boys show their sheep at the county, state and national levels. The Sprays are members of the Columbia and Rambouillet Sheep Breeders Associations.