Stromgren’s hard work recognized with Young Farmer Award

Young Farm Award winner Austin Stromgren.

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

This year’s Osage County Young Farmer Award will be presented to Austin Stromgren, of rural Scranton. Austin has farming in his blood and in his background. He is a fourth generation farmer on both his mom’s side of the family (Bryson) and his dad’s side. Austin has worked alongside his dad for as long as he can remember.

The first job Austin remembers doing is working cattle. Austin was quick to learn and eager to help. He started raking hay when he was 8 or 9 years old, and since he could run the tractor he also did field cultivating and disking. He was driving the semi and running the combine when he was 10 years old.

Austin’s dad gave him his first cow when he was in the second grade. Austin kept back heifers from that cow and when he was 10 he purchased a couple of cows with his own money. After he graduated from high school he bought 20 cows and his first bull. Austin’s herd has grown to 40.

“I take a lot of pride in my cattle,” Austin said.

Austin began farming full-time when he was 13 years old, after his father and he were in a wreck that left his dad paralyzed. Austin’s knowledge and strong work ethic helped him take care of everything on the farm and attend high school. During his senior year he went to a half day of high school and attended Flint Hills Technical College for a half day. He graduated from high school in 2015 and vo-tech in 2016 as a certified automotive mechanic. While at Flint Hills, his team went to Pittsburg to compete in the Ford AAA state competition.

Austin now takes care of 130 head of cattle. He manages the grazing to prevent overgrazing or undergrazing. He has a tree saw and works to keep the trees out of his pastures. He also does some tree removal work for his neighbors. He also manages 600 acres of farm ground south of Burlingame. He does a corn-bean rotation with some wheat. He keeps his waterways and terraces in good shape and has started trying no-till farming practices.

“I don’t cut corners and I do the best I can,” Austin said. “I don’t want to have a poor crop if everyone else has a good crop. There is always something to learn and room to improve.”

The past couple of years in his “free” time, Austin started doing custom planting and custom combining. With all the rain during the 2017 harvest, his custom combining services were utilized by a few of his neighbors. Austin also does custom baling and mowing.

Everyone is invited to join the Osage County Conservation District in honoring Stromgren for all of his hard work with the Young Farmer Award, during the district’s annual meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, 2018, at the Osage City school cafeteria. Photo thanks to Osage County Conservation District.

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