FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- Minnesota Crop Improvement Association recognized Mike Zabel of Plainview with the Premier Seedsman Award.

The award, presented annually since 1928, recognizes individuals or partners involved in quality seed production who provide excellent service to the seed industry and are active in the associatio.

Zabel is the third generation to operate Zabel Seeds. Mike’s grandfather, Arnold, and Arnold’s brother Clarence began producing seed in the 1940s, growing small grains. Today, Mike produces and conditions high-quality soybeans and certified oat and barley seed.

He has served on the MCIA Board of Directors. He is a member of the Southeast Minnesota Forage Council and the Minnesota corn and soybean grower groups. He is also a board member of his local corn growers’ organization.

The Zabel farm has been a site for corn production and nitrogen utilization studies by University of Minnesota and USDA researchers. Mike also cooperated with Regional Extension Educators to encourage local testing of fungicides as a management tool for oat producers.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

He also is an active member of his church, serving on various boards, and as a Sunday school teacher, website developer, musician and singer. He also serves as a township supervisor, and on the High Plains Cooperative Board, and the Wabasha County Extension Committee.