Becker County family farm, raise cattle near DL

The Kevin and Denise Olson family of Detroit Lakes has been named Becker County’s “2023 Farm Family of the Year” by the University of Minnesota.

Kevin and Denise Olson got their start in the cattle industry in 1974 as a commercial beef cow-calf operation. The couple purchased their first registered cows in 1987 from a ranch in Missouri and continue raising purebred Angus to this day.

The Olsons’ operation, Big Rok Angus, calves out over 200 purebred black Angus cows annually. They have an annual production sale selling 18-month-old bulls and females to commercial and purebred ranchers. The Olsons produce almost all their own feed on about 500 acres of cropland and about 500 acres of pasture. 

All family members help on the farm whenever possible, working cattle, branding cattle, hauling cows to pasture and preparing for the annual sale. Kevin and Denise’s daughter Billi has two children, Nolan and Khloe. The Olsons’ daughter Kelli and her husband, Jason Langerud, have five children: Ali, Kaia, Ty, Bri and Trey. Kevin and Denise’s son Matt and his wife, Sarah, have two boys, Charlie and Henry.

Kevin and Denise are involved in many local organizations. They are 4-H volunteers, members of the Becker County Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom volunteers, the Becker County Youth Livestock Auction Committee and they are involved in various church functions. Kevin is chair of the Becker County Extension Committee, and chair of the Becker County Youth Livestock Auction Committee, serves as Detroit Township chair and is a member of the Minnesota, North Dakota and American Angus Associations.

The families will be officially recognized in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 3 at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn. Profiles of the 2023 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University’s farm family website,

Honored families are chosen, one per county, by local University of Minnesota Extension committees based on their demonstrated commitment to their communities and to enhancing and supporting agriculture.

“These farm families are a major driver of Minnesota’s economy and the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities,” said Bev Durgan, dean of the University of Minnesota Extension. “The University of Minnesota is proud to recognize these farm families for their contributions to agriculture and their communities.” 

Along with Farmfest, University units sponsoring the recognition event include the University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Farmfest runs Aug. 1-3 at the Gilfillan Estate, near Redwood Falls, Minn. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8.00 in advance or $10.00 at the gate and those 17 and under are admitted free. More information on Farmfest is available at