Kent Eken's Roots

Kent’s passion for our communities grows out of his deep roots that reach down generations in this land

When Kent’s great-great grandfather settled here, he changed his name from Peterson to Eken which is Norwegian for oak tree.

His new name was an expression of hope; a hope that he was planting a seed that would grow and flourish for generations to come. His hope has taken root. His dream has become reality.

The Eken family is still here.

Eken Family tree
Like the solid oak from which his name comes, Eken will stand firmly on the side of Western Minnesota. Kent will always put us first because his roots run deep in this land.

Kent Eken grew up on the family farm west of Twin Valley and graduated from Twin Valley High School. He farmed in partnership with his brothers from 1982-1988. Kent received his B.A. from Concordia College and his M.A. from St. Cloud State University.

After graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead, Kent taught high school in rural Minnesota for many years. He taught economics, history, and government. Today Kent serves on the Tri-College University Board.

Kent is a member of Zion Lutheran Church (former Council member and Sunday School teacher), Farmers Union, Farm Bureau, Twin Valley Lions Club, and Ducks Unlimited.

Kent Eken & Family
Kent and Lori Eken are raising their four children on the fourth-generation family farm where Kent grew up and learned the value of hard work while farming. They are standing around the horse-drawn cultivator once used by Kent’s great-grandfather.
I remember watching my children playing in the shade of trees my grandpa planted. My grandpa never knew my children, but he still touches them… every time the shade of those trees touch them. This is why I went into teaching and public service. I want to touch the future. I want to plant trees for future generations.
-- Kent Eken

Kent Eken with Students


As a Teacher

  • In a school survey sent out to alumni, Kent was chosen most often by students as the teacher who had the greatest impact on their lives.
  • Kent is listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” for his outstanding ability to make his classes interesting and keep his students engaged.
  • Kent has also taught U.S. History as an adjunct instructor at MSU Moorhead and he taught Government at the Technical and Community College in Detroit Lakes.

As a Legislator

  • Guardian of Public Schools Award from the Minnesota School Board’s Association for his commitment to helping Minnesotan’s students reach their full potential.
  • Legistator of Distinction from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities for his work on reducing property taxes and offering regulatory relief.
  • Legislator of the Year from the Long-Term Care Association for his work to continue quality long-term care for seniors and the disabled.
  • Legislator of the Year from the Soil and Water Conservation Districts for his work on flood reduction.
  • Triangle Award from the Farmers Union for his work to strengthen Minnesota’s agricultural economy.
Kent Eken in Moorhead


for Minnesota State Senate in District 4 across Norman County, Clay County and part of Becker County.