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Huebsh seeks outgoing Syd Nelson's

Turkey grower and businessman Doug Huebsch has announced his candidacy for the Otter Tail County Board District 1 seat.

"I know it is early to be talking about the County Commissioner election, but I've had a number of people ask me if I was going to run for the District 1 seat," said Huebsch, adding that he "thought I should gladly announce that 'Yes! I am running.'"

Setting the stage for Huebsch is the announcement that longtime District 1 Commissioner Syd Nelson plans to retire this year.

Huebsch, who ran against Syd in 1996 and lost narrowly, has been mentioned frequently as a possible successor.

To date, no other candidates have officially announced their interest in the seat.

"Syd has done a great job, and he continues to do a great job," said Huebsch.

"I don't have any issues...I'm not angry with anything; I just want to try to help."

Huebsch did cite water resources as an issue that will impact Otter Tail County in the future.

"We need to protect water from an environmental standpoint, but also protect it from people coming to take it from us," said Huebsch. "There is a shortage of water throughout the world--and we have it. That brings a global perspective to it."

It was an eye-opener for the Otter Tail lake country, when a federal drought-contingency proposal included this area as a possible source of water for the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Otter Tail County's District 1 includes the townships of Blowers, Butler, Corliss, Dead Lake, Edna, Gorman, Hobart, Homestead, Newton, Paddock, Perham, Pine Lake, and Rush Lake.

Cities within the district are Dent, New York Mills, Perham and Richville.

"I don't know all the answers, but I am willing to ask a lot of questions and work hard to represent OTC District 1," he said.

Huebsch is a partner and founder of New Life Farms. The agricultural company specializes in turkey production, and produces eggs for Jennie-O Foods, a division of Hormel Foods. New Life Farms and its subsidiary, NLF Group, own Napa auto parts of Perham and also invest in agricultural and renewable fuel entities.

A 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he earned a degree in agricultural economics, Huebsch has held leadership posts and memberships with a number of ag-related organizations.

Recently, Huebsch returned from a trip to South Africa, which was through his role with MARL: Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership. In South Africa, the group visited agricultural enterprises ranging from conventional grain and livestock operations to goat, wildebeest and even crocodile farms.

The MARL Program is a public private partnership. Southwest Minnesota State University administers it and the University of Minnesota Extension coordinates the curriculum. Two-thirds of the participants are agricultural producers and the other third are agribusiness people and other types of rural leaders.

Two years ago, Huebsch traveled with Governor Tim Pawlenty's China Partnership Trip.

Other volunteer and membership positions with he has had with agribusiness:

---USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service-Advisory Board Member, a Secretary of Agriculture-appointed position with only 30 members nationwide.

---He is a past president, of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association

---He worked on the Rapid Response Fund for Agriculture.

---He renovated the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association State Fair Booth.

Huebsch is a lifetime member of the University of Minnesota Alumni Society; and a board member of the U's College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Sciences Alumni Society.

An early experience with public policy was during his college years--in Washington D.C. In 1983 and 1984, Huebsch was a non-political appointee to the office of U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz. Huebsch worked on the 1985 Farm Bill, and other ag issues.

Locally, he is also a founder and owner of Perham Capital Company, a local investment group directed toward developing quality housing in our rural community, maintaining rural post offices, and investing in small businesses in Greater Minnesota.

Doug and his wife Susan also own The Wild Goose, Inc., a specialty gift store and coffee house that is open all year long in Perham. The shop was founded in 1997.

Doug and Sue have three children, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Mark.

Huebsch has been active locally with various organizations. He is president of the Perham Rotary Club. He serves on the St. Henry's Parish Council, and is vice-chairman.

He is a past president of the Perham Chamber of Commerce and also a past president of the Perham Area Jaycees. He has also served as a past Cubmaster, with the Perham Cub Scouts.