September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
Their dedication to their farm and the dairy industry in their community has earned them the honor of being named the 2012 Carver County Farm Family of the Year.
About a year ago, the Heuers were going about their normal day-to-day chores when they found a message on their answering machine from Laura Keiser of the Carver County Extension Office.
"She (Keiser) had told us we were up for a nomination for the Carver County Farm Family of the Year," Dean said. "We had been nominated by local businesses."
"We were surprised," Paul said. "We don't do anything that is much different from other dairy farmers in the county."
"We were at a sporting event for my son, and people were coming up congratulating my family," Dean said. "It is a nice recognition."
During the 2012 Carver County Dairy Day dinner, the Heuers were honored for their achievement and had their names added to the plaque that is housed at the local extension office.
Paul and Dean milk 130 Holsteins in a double-six flat barn parlor on the farm their great-grandfather Henry Heuer started. Their freestall barn is bedded with sand, the dry cows are housed in a compost barn and the heifers are housed in a loafing shed during winter months and on a pasture in the summer. The family also runs 450 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
The Heuers keep themselves busy on their dairy farm and have struggled with stray voltage for the last couple of years, but they have still found time to be active in their community and local organizations.
Paul is on the Bongards' Creamery board, helps with events at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and is involved with Carver County Holstein Association Board. He is currently working on helping with the All Breeds state convention that Carver, Wright and Hennepin Counties will be hosting in 2014.
Dean is the director of Waconia Farm Supply board, a member of the Ferguson Cemetery Board, a member of the Carver County Holstein board and serves on the All Saints Church council.
The brothers' community involvement doesn't end there. They also have opened up their farm for tours. They have had a group from Chanhassen come to tour the farm.
"When our kids were in pre-school, we had pre-school tours on our farm," Dean said. "We also hosted the county Twilight Meeting way back when."
The Heuers have also helped with the Barnyard event at the church. All the donations from this event go to help people in third world countries. The Heuers bring a live calf for the fundraising event.
"People don't really understand what we do out here," Paul said. "We are active in businesses and clubs that support us."
"It is good public relations being active in the community," Dean said. "We try to help out where we can."
Paul and Dean are not the only members of the family that are active on the farm and bring dairy to the local communities. Their children are now becoming involved.
The Heuer family consists of Paul and his wife, Jennifer, and their three children, Benjamin (6), Katelyn (5) and Rae Ann (2) as well as Dean and his wife, Michelle, and their three children, Chase (16), Andrew (13) and Sarah (10).
Dean's two sons, Chase and Andrew, have been apart of the Carver County dairy ambassador group.
"Chase was in it for two years and Andrew is in his second year," Dean said.
"The group puts up a tent at the fair for children's day where they have games like throwing a softball at milk bottles and giveaways," Paul said. "They also help with the Dairy Day dinner, ride in parades with the dairy princesses and have been asked to help at the State Holstein Show."
Dean's children have been showing the family's Holsteins at the fair for the past few years, and Paul's children are getting old enough where they might be able to start showing too.
"Ben really wants to show," Paul said with a smile. "Hopefully his cousins can help him out."
Almost a year after being named the Carver County Farm Family of the Year, the Heuers are still humbled by the honor.
"It is nice to be recognized for the things you do," Dean said. "We try to be at events, help each other and do things for each other."
"It's an honor to be recognized by the industry and the people around the community," Paul said. "When things calm down, we hope to be able to do more things."[[In-content Ad]]
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