Luther Opjorden of Milan was presented with the prestigious Family Heritage Award by the National Weather Service on December 11th.

Luther Opjorden of Milan was presented with the prestigious Family Heritage Award by the National Weather Service on December 11th. The award recognizes the Opjorden family for their  dedication to taking weather observations on their farm every day for 125 years for the national Cooperative Weather Observer network. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar also recognized the family with a letter thanking them for their service to the state and nation.

“Weather observations are taken once a day, and the Milan Coop Station takes their daily measurement at 6 p.m.,” said Michelle Margraf, Meteorologist and Observing Program Leader of the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities. “Over the past 125 years, the Opjorden family has taken over 45,625 weather observations!

“The observation stations record the 24-hour high and low temperature, the temperature at the time of the observation, the 24-hour precipitation and snowfall amount, and the snow depth. These are all manual measurements, taken by volunteers, using equipment provided by the National Weather Service.”

This nearly unprecedented family legacy has encompassed three generations. It began on August 7, 1893 when O.K. Opjorden started taking weather observations at his Milan farm. He took daily measurements for 28 years before passing on the duty to his daughter, Ragna Opjorden, in October of 1921. Her brother, Torfinn Opjorden took over the observations in January of 1925. Fifty-seven years later in May of 1982, Torfinn turned the weather station over to his son, Luther Opjorden. Luther has continued the family tradition of taking daily measurements with his wife Martha on the farm for the past 36 years.

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