University of Minnesota
Photo: Patrick O'Leary
Five generations strong
Inauguration week visit celebrates U partnerships with broader community
By Bill Magdalene
Fran and Mary Ann Miron and their six children are the fifth generation to work and live on their family farm, established in 1887 in Hugo, Minnesota. Today the family milks 100 Holsteins and raises corn, soybeans, small grain, and alfalfa and grass hay on 280 acres they own and another 500 they rent. Also living on the farm are Fran's parents, Marcel, 94, and Clara, 90—five of their nine children earned degrees from the University of Minnesota.
On September 20, 2011, University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler visited the farm. The inauguration week event showcased and celebrated ways the University and Minnesota's broader community work together. In early August, soon after becoming president, Kaler toured southern Minnesota, visiting Marshall, Worthington, and Lamberton, and attending Farmfest near Redwood Falls. On that trip Kaler emphasized agricultural innovation as key for Minnesota. "When you innovate, you drive the economy forward," he said.
Committed to farming and education
Fran (B.S. '76, agricultural education) and Mary Ann's six children carry on the family's commitment to farming, and to agricultural education at the University:
Michael (M. Ed '08, B.S. '04, agricultural education) teaches agricultural education at Forest Lake Senior High School.
Mark is an elementary school teacher in Lino Lakes.
Paul helps run the farm, in partnership with Fran and Mary Ann.
Ann (B.S. '10, agricultural education) teaches middle school in the Forest Lake system
Kathleen (jr, agricultural education) and Andrew (fr, animal science) are students at the University of Minnesota.
Committed to community
In 2011, the Miron family established a centennial fund scholarship through the U of M Foundation. It will support undergraduates who are studying animal science or agricultural education. The family provides an annual scholarship to a local student studying agriculture through the Community Scholarship Foundation, where Fran serves as a board member.
Fran, Mary Ann, and their children serve on the boards of the Minnesota Farm Bureau State Board of Directors, Washington-Ramsey Farm Bureau, Washington County American Dairy Association, and Forest Lake Agricultural Education Advisory Board.
Suburban, yet proudly rural
Fran has served as mayor of the City of Hugo for 17 years. During that period, Hugo has grown from a rural community to a suburban city of more than 14,000. Hugo continues to cherish its rural character. Its comprehensive plan encourages agricultural uses within over half of its 36 square miles.