Mark and Amy Blackwelder
Mark Blackwelder began farming in 1984 after being raised in a family of farmers. Mark’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father all farmed. Mark joined his dad’s operation in 1984. Today the Blackwelders milk 300 cows three times a day. They also have 1750 acres of cropland, growing corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Mark is the main decision maker, Amy does book keeping, and their three children, Brett, Katelyn, and Kent play active roles in the day-to-day operation. Mark’s parents, Earl and Andrea, are also still active helping on the farm, especially during the fall and spring. Mark and Amy’s son Brett (22) is a student at North Dakota State University. Following graduation, he plans to join the operation and expand his existing herd and acres. Katelyn (20) is a sophomore at NDSU. Son Kent (17) is a sophomore at Chokio-Alberta High School.
Mark serves on the Big Stone County Zoning and Planning Commission, the Big Stone American Dairy Association, and has been on the West Central Dairy Herd Improvement Association. The family is involved with the Stevens County 4-H program where the children show cattle at the Stevens County and Minnesota State 4-H dairy shows.