August 9, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

Outstanding senior citizens’ crowning moment

Kerfelds recognized for community service

By CAROL MOORMAN | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Art and Rosie Kerfeld, of rural St. Rosa, have attended their share of Princess Kay of the Milky Way pageants at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, watching Princess Kay being crowned on the evening before the state fair opens.  

July 27 the Kerfelds received their own crowns and an honor that went along with it. Stearns County Dairy Princesses Sophia Schiffler and Lanna Walter placed crowns on the Kerfelds’ heads minutes before Art and Rosie were each named Stearns County Outstanding Senior Citizen. Rosie couldn’t hold back laughter as they were crowned.

Program emcee Vern Frericks started the 20-minute program explaining 2021 was the last time the Minnesota State Fair named a state outstanding senior citizen, Marianne Walker from Sauk Centre. 

Not wanting to see the local program end, Stearns County Fair officials chose to honor a senior individual or couple each year during the fair. The Kerfelds were nominated this year. 

“If any of you know people who do a lot of things in the community, please let us know,” Frericks said. “Anybody can nominate somebody.” 

Frericks said the Kerfelds were recognized for “their contributions to help make this place a better world,” and their names will be submitted to the state, although there is no official state recognition program.  

Called to the stage, the Kerfelds gave a brief overview of their life, Art the appointed speaker. Laughter erupted from the audience when asked which one of them was the boss, with no answer given. Art quickly went into his speech.  

“We do various tasks on the dairy farm, and that keeps us out of trouble,” he said.  

The Kerfeld family have hosted the Stearns County Breakfast on the Farm twice, the last time in 2021. Art and Rosie have lived on the dairy farm all of their married life and transitioned the farm to their son, Tim, and his wife, Carrie. 

Art and Rosie are active members of the Stearns County American Dairy Association. On this morning, Rosie volunteered in the Stearns County ADA milkshake booth at the fair, right next to the Heritage Stage, where Donny Brang performed before and after the senior recognition program.   

Art said he and two other men play cards with a neighbor, dealing with a traumatic brain injury, who loves to play cards. 

“He shakes hands with us two or three times when we leave,” Art said.

Art delivers meals on wheels every other Wednesday.

“I was out peddling meals around yesterday,” he said.

Art is a volunteer TRI-Cap driver, using his vehicle to take people to appointments. He calls bingo for tenants at Park View Center in Melrose and installs CentraCare medical alerts for people. Art is a St. Rosa Lions member, stepping down as a long-time treasurer.   

“You said it all,” Rosie said when asked by Art if he missed anything. 

She did add they have “a whole bunch of kids, eight of them, some are here today.” They have 25 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

“So we are a little bit educated,” Art said. 

Frericks, before presenting them with the plaques and the dairy princesses with their crowns, said they are “very fortunate to have Art and Rosie represent Stearns County.” 

“We are very grateful to be able to help people in our communities,” Art concluded. 


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