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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Boone County

Legacy started in 1912 continues By KRISS NELSON

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PERRY – With the fourth, fifth and sixth generations all actively a part of the farm, the promise of the Heck family farm continuing on for many more years is strong. Ron and Carole Heck are the current owners of their family’s 100 plus-year old farm that was first purchased into the Heck family by Ron’s great-grandfather, Frank Heck. Farming for the Heck family started earlier than 1912, however, when Ron’s great-great-grandfather, Mike Heck, arrived in the United States from southern Germany. Heck said his great-great-grandfather purchased land not only in Iowa, but in South Dakota and Texas as well. Through some trial and error, Mike Heck decided to eventually sell off the land in South Dakota and Texas and focus his land purchasing efforts in Iowa. Mike and his son, Frank Heck, owned several different parcels of land before they decided to finally settle in Boone County. “I was told the first farm was near Grand Junction, but I know there was land in Perry and Minburn for awhile,” said Heck. “They tried several places and decided to settle here in 1912. He kept trying until they found land they liked and it is the one that has remained in the family the longest.” Frank’s farming operation, Heck said, was typical of a farm for the

Established: 1912 Generations: 4th Township: Union Acres: 80 Awarded: 2012

early 1900s, being diversified with its crops and animals. Heck’s grandfather, R.M. Heck, was the next to take over the family farm. Things weren’t always easy for R.M.’s tenure of farming as he had to do everything he could to make it through the Great Depression. Heck said fortunately, his grandfather was able to supplement his farming income by driving truck and held onto the farm. Farming was also tough for R.M. due to his health. “He had poor health and just wasn’t suited for hard farm work,” said Heck. Heck’s father, Raymond Heck, had to step up at an early age and assist his father on the farm. “He farmed his whole life. His schooling came after the work,” said Heck, adding his dad’s school year typically started around Thanksgiving after harvest was completed and his year ended at spring planting time. World War II made Raymond and his wife, Berniece’s, farming operation one that had them being

self-sustainable – much like the previous generations. After the war, Heck said, when farming became more specialized, his father focused on row crops — especially a newer crop for the time, soybeans — a crop he and Heck saw fit to help promote. Both worked tirelessly to bring the commodity to the forefront of Iowa and the United States crop production. Raymond served on the Iowa Soybean As-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson sociation as president in 1984 and also served on the Ameri- RON HECK, his son-in-law Ryan Nelson and grandson Spencer Nelson can Soybean Associa- are the fourth, fifth and sixth generation to actively farm the Heck family farm. tion. Heck said he served as president in 1993 for the ISA; was ASA president in these people and appreciate what many people that don’t get a chance to keep farming. Families 2003; was founding director of the they did,” Heck said. To help with the family farm’s get fewer and farther between and USSEC (United States Soybean Export Council) and founding di- succession, Ron and Carole are it’s nice to be able to keep it togethrector of the Iowa Biodiesel Board farming with the family’s fifth and er and keep it in the family and and is currently secretary of the Na- sixth generation, their son-in-law, knowing there are others down the Ryan Nelson and grandson, line that want to continue it. It tional Biodiesel Board. makes the extra work worth it.” Another member of the third Spencer Nelson. Spencer will be graduating next Spencer said he is eager to return generation of Heck farmers is Heck’s uncle, Mike Heck. Al- year with a degree in ag business to the farm after school. “It’s exciting to get to do,” he though he no longer actively farms, from Iowa State University in Heck said he helps Mike manage Ames and plans to come back to said. “Watching your family – your the family farm. parents, grandparents, great-grandhis land. Ryan is married to Heck’s parents do it, it means a lot to learn What’s it mean to own your famdaughter, Libby. from them, watch them do it, see ily’s Century Farm? “It’s a privilege to be able to get how they do it and see how they get “It’s fantastic, I grew up with to do it,” said Ryan. “There’s so better.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Buena Vista County

Generations continue to be a part of family farm By KRISS NELSON

STORM LAKE — The Lenhart family’s farm continues to add more generations to occupy the land, 108 years after it was purchased. It all started on March 2, 1911 when Frank and Sarah Lenhart purchased 160 acres near Storm Lake. The current owners of the farm, Pat Lenhart and his brother Mike Lenhart, grandsons to Frank and Sarah Lenhart, said their grandfather came to Buena Vista County with his brothers from Illinois. A descendent of Irish immigrants, Sarah met Frank and they were married in 1879. Next to take over the family farming operation were the Lenhart’s parents, James and Luella Lenhart, and their uncle Don Lenhart. This happened sometime in the 1950s and together, the brothers ran a dairy in addition to raising crops. Don and James split the operation, turning the 160 acres into two separate 80 acre parcels. At that time, Don started raising hogs while James kept up the dairy. Mike and Pat Lenhart said their father continued to run the dairy until he suffered a heart attack and decided to switch his interest into selling crop insurance. At that time, crop insurance was new and he was instrumental in introducing it to producers and landowners in the area.

Lenhart Century Farm Established: 1911 Generations: 3rd Township: Washington Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 Selling Pioneer seed was another source of income for James, a business he grew from a one-car garage in the barn. “It kept growing and he used the bottom part of the dairy barn for storage and we ended up in the haymow,” Pat Lenhart said. “We stored bag corn up there. He built up quite a dealership for Pioneer from the ground up.” James Lenhart passed away when he was 60 years old, and his sons stepped up to take over their family farm — while both were still attending college. “We each took a year off of college and run the farm while the other one finished up,” said Mike Lenhart. “We never thought about renting out or anything like that. It worked.” “We both had a strong desire to want to farm,” his brother added. “That’s what we were studying in school — agriculture.” Their mother was still on the farm and did what she could to help her sons start farming. “She helped us get started

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

MIKE LENHART AND PAT LENHART are the current owners of their family’s Century Farm that started in 1911. farming and into the hog business,” said Pat Lenhart. In addition to farming their family’s farm and raising hogs, the Lenhart brothers found an opportunity in the newspaper during the mid-1980s to raise turkeys; a venture they have been doing ever since. At that time, the brothers were able to purchase their uncle Don Lenhart’s 80 acres.

“Our uncle wanted us to make sure we got it,” said Pat Lenhart, adding that a family agreement made it possible for them to buy the land and essentially put their family farm back together. There is another branch on the Lenhart family tree that is also a part of the family farm. “My dad and Don’s older brother, Leo, died in his 40s and my dad and uncle spent a lot of

time with their two kids Bob and Tom,” said Pat Lenhart. “Bob bought 15 acres on the north end of Don’s 80 in 1968 and built a house there and raised a family with his wife Fran. This year, Bob and Fran moved to town and sold their acreage to their grandson, Nathan and his soon-to-be wife Eli. So now we have another generation of Lenharts living on the original homestead.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Butler County

60 years of dairying paid the bills By CLAYTON RYE

CLARKSVILLE — Pete Jensen and Mary Marquand first met on a blind date on Dec. 26, 1953. That meeting would change their lives forever, setting off a chain of events that includes a Century Farm and a family farm built on dairying. Marquand was the daughter of Verto and Ruth Marquand. She grew up on their farm that was first bought by her grandfather, Herman Habermann, a German immigrant who was Ruth’s father. The Century Farm was passed from the first owner to his daughter and then to her daughter who became, Mrs. Pete Jensen in July 1956. Pete Jensen was born in York, Nebraska, in 1935. His family moved to Iowa in 1941, living between Dike and New Hartford. The move was the result of a seven year drought in Nebraska with no crop on their 400 acres. Jensen was in the military for two years and discharged in April 1956. During those two years, he and Marquand wrote to each other every day. Jensen knew what he wanted to do after being discharged from the service, but there was a problem. “I wanted a farm, but had no money,” he said. He bought a used milking parlor for $300 in 1959, moved on to what he called a “run down

MarquandJensen Farm Established: 1910 Generations: 4th Township: Butler Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018 farm” and started with four cows. He expanded in 1967 with a new parlor, a double floor, and capacity for 150 cows. The Jensen family has been in the dairy business ever since, with help from their two daughters and their husbands. Their son, Marque, lives in Minneapolis. Their daughter, Pam Bolin, and her husband, Dave, milk 120 cows with their son, Dan, and his wife Lynn. The Jensen’s other daughter, Deb White, and her husband, Dennis, took over the dairy business from her parents 25 years ago. They quit dairying October 2018 because getting help was difficult. When the Whites took over, the Jensens moved from the farm where the cows were kept back to the home a short distance away where Mary grew up. “I’ve lived in this house longer the second time than I did the first,” said Mary Jensen. Her husband, at 84 years old, looked back at his 60 years of

-Submitted photo

THIS IS THE CENTURY FARM where Mary Jensen grew up and where she and husband Pete returned when their daughter Pam White took over the family dairy farm with her husband, Dave White. dairying. “It was good to me, I enjoyed it,” he said adding the tough winter of 1982 was an exception. According to him, the 1980s were good for Jensen dairy farm. “We were on the right side of interest rates with a loan locked in at 4 percent,” he said.

In 1977, Mary Jensen received the Wallaces Farmer Iowa Master Homemaker Award. She was recognized for her work on and off the farm. On the farm she worked in the barn with the rest of family and off the farm she was active in her church, plus community and political organizations.

Jensen was on the cover of Wallaces Farmer because of her accomplishments. Pete Jensen still shows up for work unloading soybeans and helping take the corn out at harvest. He feeds calves every morning. “I’m not really retired,” he said.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Calhoun County

Hotel helped farm survive Great Depression and beyond By DARCY DOUGHERTY MAULSBY

LAKE CITY — It probably seemed like more of a nuisance than a serious threat when Charles Acklin scratched his skin on barbed wire one day early in 1927. But after this Lake City-area farmer contracted a tetanus infection from his injury and passed away at age 44 on March 18, 1927, nothing would ever be the same for his family. “Fortunately, my grandma, Mary, was a tough cookie,� said Linda (Acklin) Stotts, a granddaughter of Charles (�Charley�) and Mary Acklin who lives in Lake City. “After Charley died, Mary moved into town with her children and built the Lake City Hotel in 1935.� The hotel provided a source of income for the family, as did rental income from their farmland, which the Acklins had purchased in 1916. The farm reflected the Acklin’s deep roots in Calhoun County. Charley Acklin, who was born in 1882, was a young boy when his family moved to Calhoun County from Marion County, Iowa, in the 1880s. His obituary offered an insightful view of his early years in Calhoun County’s Lake Creek Township. “Here on this farm he passed through boyhood to young manhood doing his full share in bringing about the transformation of the prairie and sloughs of that day to the fertile farmlands of today. Here as a boy, he breathed deeply from

Acklin Century Farm Established:1916 Generations: 4th Township: Calhoun Acres: 80 Awarded: 2017 the atmosphere surrounding him of truth, loyalty and sincerity. Here he was taught the honor of honest toil, the priceless value of strict integrity.� On April 2, 1907, Charley Acklin married Mary Clark, a Lake City native. The couple raised four children on their farm south of Lake City, including LuVerne, Roma, Helen and Charles, Jr. (�Chuck�). According to local lore, the original part of the family’s farmhouse had been built on a hill to the south of the farm. The house was later rolled on logs to the Acklin farm, where the structure was set on a rock foundation. The farmhouse was a hub of the farm, which would grow to include 180 acres, along with a barn, corncrib, various outbuildings and a large garden. “Through patient industry and intelligent management, he [Charley Acklin] succeeded in surrounding himself and family with the comforts and conveniences of the modern farm home,� noted Charley Acklin’s obituary. “He had an ardent interest in all that was progressive and uplifting.�

-Submitted photo

THE FARMHOUSE was a hub of the Acklin farm, which would grow to include 160 acres, along with a barn, corncrib, various outbuildings and a large garden. This aerial shot of the farm, which is located just south of Lake City, was likely taken in the early 1950s. While the Acklins rented their land for decades after Mary and the children moved into Lake City, the farm became the first home for Stotts and her husband, Mike, after the high school sweethearts married in 1967. “We lived there for 11 years until we moved to Lake City in 1978,� said Stotts, the daughter of Chuck and Jean Acklin, whose children also included Betsy, Scott

and a daughter, Kim, who died in infancy. Stotts and her husband farmed full-time in Calhoun County for 50 years. “We raised corn and soybeans, farrowed hogs for years and also fed Holstein cattle for a short time,� said Stotts, who noted that her father rebuilt a barn at the Acklin farm in the late 1950s after a tornado damaged the original barn

in 1956. Today, the only buildings still standing on the Acklin Century Farm include the garage, pump house and hog house. Still, the memories endure. “The Century Farm means a lot to me, because I know the history behind it,� said Stotts, whose family rents out the farmland. “It’s an honor to keep the farm in the family all these years.�

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Carroll County

Livestock, barn reflect decades of Struve family’s history By DARCY DOUGHERTY MAULSBY

MANNING — It seemed like a typical day on December 2, 2018, when Curt Struve headed outside to work on his family’s Century Farm northeast of Manning. But when this 66-year-old farmer passed away unexpectedly while doing chores, it left everyone in shock. “During the funeral service, the pastor described Curt as a ‘mighty oak tree in our collective front yard that we assumed would remain standing forever,’” said Struve’s wife, Rexanne, whose husband died of a heart attack. “Our daughter Brandi was right when she said he was a mountain of a man who could move a 2,000-pound bull and then get down on the floor and let his granddaughters climb all over him.” While Curt Struve passed away suddenly, the fourth-generation farmer’s legacy lives on through his family, who continue to operate the Struve Century Farm and honor its history. The farm came into the family in 1883, just two years after Manning was incorporated in southwest Carroll County. A young German immigrant named Claus Struve purchased 160 acres that year in Ewoldt Township, just a short time after marrying his wife, Dorothea, on February 16, 1883, in the region now known as Holstein, Germany. After the newlyweds moved

Struve Century Farm Established: 1883 Generations: 5th Township: Ewoldt Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 to the Manning area in March 1883, they began buying land in Carroll County, starting with 160 acres and later adding another 160 acres. The family grew to include three sons, including John, George and Herman. Claus Struve and Sons established a purebred Shorthorn cattle herd in 1901. George Struve took over the farming operation in 1918 after his parents retired. He and his wife, Dora, raised their four children on the farm, including son Glen “Red” Struve, who was born in 1921. “Struve Shorthorns were Red’s passion,” said Rexanne Struve, who noted that Red Struve began farming full-time in 1946 after marrying his wife, Lois. Along with raising their five children on the farm, Red Struve helped develop Struve Shorthorns and won many honors at state fairs and other prominent cattle shows throughout the Midwest. He was active in the Iowa Shorthorn Association and served as president of

organization. One day in the late 1970s, Red Struve called Dr. Robert Dappen’s veterinary clinic in Manning about treating a horse with an umbilical rupture. A new veterinarian, Dr. Rexanne Miller, came to the farm. “That’s how I met Curt,” said Rexanne Struve, a Chicago-area native and Kansas State University graduate who became the first female veterinarian in Carroll County -Submitted photo after Dr. Dappen recruited her in THE NAME “STRUVE” had been displayed in large letters on the roof of the 1976. Curtis and Rex- Struve family’s barn northeast of Manning since 1968. anne Struve married in 1978. Red Today, Brandi (Struve) Wiig and and Lois Struve sold the newly- cific-pathogen-free (SPF) laboratoher husband, Jarred, help operate weds the farm that same year, com- ry. “To me, the Century Farm al- the family’s Century Farm. There’s plete with the distinctive barn where the name “Struve” had been lowed me to live my dreams of be- nothing better than having the sixth displayed in large letters on the roof ing a veterinarian and farm wife generation grow up around the since 1968. Dr. Struve also pur- who raised our family in the coun- Century Farm, noted Brandi Wiig, chased the vet clinic from Dr. Dap- try,” said Struve, who enjoys a mother of three children, includpen in 1978 and continues to oper- spending time with her three chil- ing Hadley, 6; Jessa, 4; and a new ate Veterinary Associates of Man- dren (Chad, Jamie and Brandi) and baby due in late June 2019. “How could we be more blessed?” ning, as well as Struve Labs, a spe- her grandchildren.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Cerro Gordo County

Farm girl has deep roots By CLAYTON RYE

MASON CITY — “I’ve always had a special attachment to this farm,” said Laura Weers of the place she has lived on all her life. “I’d like to stay here as long as I can.” When Weers was born in 1958 to Elmer and Rosalind Weers, there were two houses on the farm. One was occupied by her grandparents, Bardelt and Hannah Weers, and the other by her parents. Weers’ grandparents passed away in 1966, and at that time, her parents moved into the main house where she lives today. Her father passed away in 2002 at age 82 and her mother died at age 57.

The Weers Farm Established: 1890 Generations: 4th Township: Bath Acres: 120 Awarded: 2018

The Century Farm had its beginning in 1890 when it was purchased by her great-grandparents Weert and Reina Weers. While the crop land is rented out, many of the buildings are standing from when her grandfather and father were actively farming with crops and livestock. A wash house is the oldest building still standing. “They bathed in there,” said Weers. Other buildings are the corn crib from the 1930s, machine shed from the ’40s, hog house from -Submitted photo 1968 that is now a garage, LAURA WEERS’ father Elmer, standing with and a metal shed the team of horses, Molly and Dolly, along with from around her grandfather Bardelt, leaning on the pitch- 1976. A new fork, stop for a photo while putting hay in the garage was built barn. in 2002.


-Farm News photo by Clayton Rye

LAURA WEERS stands in front of her home on her family’s Century Farm. Even though the buildings are not in use, Weers maintains them as a memory and in honor of her family. She estimates the evergreen trees forming the windbreak are around 120 years old and were planted by Weert Weers. There is also a pear tree she says is at least 80 years old. “It’s been here for ages,” she said. Weers grew up as a farm girl, following her grandfather and father around the farm. “I followed Grandpa Weers around. He and I were great pals. My love of cats started with Grandpa Weers when he found Flossie in a field,” she said.

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She remembers raising two runt pigs — a red Duroc and a Hampshire — named Ann and Jerry. “Those runts were my pigs. I would get the money when they were sold,” she said. Other livestock on the farm were Holstein cattle that were gone when she was age 8 and the hogs were gone when she was age 12, leaving only beef cattle. “I watched my dad fix things,” she said. Weers remembers a fence repair she did that when her dad looked at it, decided the repair was good and left it alone. She also recalls her Grandpa Weers dug tile in by hand and it is

the driest field on the farm, drier than other fields that have been tiled with modern equipment. Weers has a garden where she produces Yukon Gold potatoes, radishes, lettuce, Swiss chard, beans and butternut squash. Canning apple sauce is another favorite job. Keeping the lawn mowed is a favorite outdoor job and by early May, she had mowed the lawn three times. “I love mowing the lawn. I find it very relaxing,” she said. It is very obvious this farm girl is deeply rooted to the family Century Farm. “I’d like to die on this farm,” she said.

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Family has worked to keep the farm together By KRISS NELSON

ly went to his three sons, William, Henry CLEGHORN – The and John Specht. John Specht family has worked Specht was Steve’s hard to keep what was startgrandfather. Established: 1879 ed back in 1879 together. Although the land Currently, Elvera Specht was split three ways Generations: 4th/5th and her sons, Brian Specht for a time, it remains in Township: Sheridan and Steve, and his wife, the Specht family still Acres: 160 Rosie, Specht own five Centoday. This was made tury Farms together. Awarded: 2018 possible, Specht said, Steve Specht’s greatthrough some purchasgreat-grandfather came from ing of land in addition Germany in 1869, first setto inheritance. tling on a farm in Rock Township near the “We have managed to take what could town of Mary Hill. Shortly thereafter, he have been split three ways years ago to keep moved near Cleghorn and purchased the it in one farm family,” he said. “It’s in your quarter section of land in 1879. blood, you want to keep it in the family.” Specht said his great-great-grandfather Elvera Specht married her husband, continued to purchase land in the area, as Robert in 1952. At that time they took over did his son, Charles Specht, great-grandfa- farming the family farm and started their cather to Steve. It has been said Charles reer with horses. Specht worked as a butcher and it is un‘‘We raised oats, corn, soybeans, hogs, known if he ever actually farmed. Hereford cattle and chickens,’’ Elvera The land Charles Specht owned eventual- Specht said, ‘‘as well as spending a lot of time cooking for the men that were out threshing and baling and kept a big garden.’’ Elvera said her husband loved horses and kept them around for as long as he could. “We had Clydesdale work horses and we had them around a lot longer than we needed to,” she said. “He was on those horses all of the time. He even rode them -Submitted photo out to walk beans.” “He just couldn’t give ELVERA SPECHT said her husband, Robert, loved them up,” Steve Specht said. The end of Robert hoses and kept them on the farm for as long as he Specht’s career farming with could. horses came tragically.

Specht Century Farm

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

ELVERA SPECHT, Steve Specht and Rosie Specht are the fourth and fifth generation owners of their family’s Century Farm along with Brian Specht, not shown. “After a lightning strike one was killed from each pair and that was the end,” Steve Specht said. “Horses are what built up the farm. That was our horsepower.” Long before Robert Specht gave up on using horses around the farm, he had modernized his operation some. “Dad, Roy and Harry, dad’s brothers, did a lot of work together threshing and baling,” Steve Specht said adding that in 1956 they shared one of the first self-propelled combines in Cherokee County. That combine brought along some relief in the labor department. “I have memories of picking corn by hand and using horses and a wagon,” said Elvera Specht. Steve Specht can remember there were

always a lot of chores to do and his days started early. “My biggest memory is being in the barn putting up hay. I don’t know how many bales,” he said. Specht said it was shortly after his high school graduation he started feeding cattle. “I got started early,” he said. The Spechts no longer raise livestock, as they have decided to slow down and focus on grain farming which Steve Specht saidhe does with his brother, Brian Specht. As Specht looks to the future, he isn’t forgetting the past. “History — it’s what it’s all about and looking out the window and seeing what you got,” he said. “I can see all of the farms from here.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Clay County

Memories abound at Clay County Century Farm By KAREN SCHWALLER

GREENVILLE — It’s been a lifetime since May of 1905 when Karoline Olesen came from Denmark to Iowa at the age of 21 with only a hand-carried sewing machine to earn herself a living. But 10 years later, she and her husband, Joseph Beck, would purchase 160 acres of land near Greenville in Clay County to start what would become a Century Farm. Myra Coover, granddaughter of the Becks, owns the family land now, with the acreage having been sold in 2003, and just over 36 acres of farm land having been sold in 2015. Coover said the tract was originally purchased for $147.37 per acre. When Joseph Beck died in 1927, the farm went to Alma Beck (who would later become Coover’s mother). “When (Joseph Beck) passed away there was no will, so his holdings were divided among his children. and his widow had to go to the courts to allow her to get the income from the farm to raise their four children, “ said Coover. Karoline Beck remained on the farm until 1941, when she moved to Spencer. Alma Beck married Leonard Spears, and together they worked side by side to create the building site — which consisted of a house, barn, corn crib, several livestock sheds and an orchard. “My father put a big apple or-

Beck Farm Established: 1915 Generations: 3rd Township: Gillet Grove Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 chard on the east side of the buildings, and to be innovative, he put rows of strawberries between the rows of apple trees. Us kids picked strawberries every morning and sold them by the case.” Coover said. “It kept us busy, and they used the money for our school needs.” Coover said with all those apples, she and a 4-H friend became very accustomed to making apple pies and gave most of them away. She said it gave her enough practice to take their demonstration of apple pies to the state fair one year. Leonard and Alma Spears had milk cows and chickens. The separated cream and extra eggs were sold in town and the money was used to purchase staple groceries in town. Coover remembered the floral print flour sacks her mother used to make clothing for the family. “It was a challenge to find two or three alike so you could make one garment,” said Coover. “It gave me a good base for 4-H.” Over the years as the buildings began to deteriorate, it was suggested to Alma Beck that the cattle barn be torn down, rather

-Farm News photo by Karen Schwaller

MYRA COOVER reminisces about growing up on the farm as she stoops to observe some of the land which has been part of her family for more than 100 years. than put any more money into it. “Mother wept at the thought of tearing that building down because she and my father worked together to build it,” said Coover. Coover shared memories of threshing bees (using tractors, not horses); and stories she remembered from her parents about outhouses, no running water, and carrying water in and out of the house on treacherous

steps to wash clothes. Alma Spears Beck died in 2014 and left the farm to her four children. Coover and her (now late) husband, Maurice, purchased the remaining three-quarters of the farm from her siblings (or their children) in 2015. The number of acres currently owned by Coover is 111.886 acres. “I respect the struggles my

parents had in order to hold onto the farm,” said Coover. “It dates back to a lot of ups and downs in a cultural community that goes through the Great Depression, and to think we were able to hang onto the farm is awesome. My father worked off the farm … It’s an honor to have the privilege of holding it together for my children.” Today the farm is rented out to a friend of the Coover family.


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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Crawford County

‘This place has history — my history’ By KRISS NELSON

Bair Farm

DENISON – Indian arrowheads, corn grinding stones, Civil War pieces and more, not only tells a story of yesteryear, but a story of a 138-year-old farm and the people that made it all possible. Charles Eggers and his wife Rita are the fifth generation of Charles’ family to own their family farm located near Denison in Crawford County. A descendent of Charles’, Samuel A. Bair was born in Pennsylvania and after serving in the Civil War moved to Iowa. He purchased 80 acres in Section 22 of Denison Township in 1881 for $1,200 from Blair Town Lot and Land Company. “After the Civil War he brought his gun, a Civil War drum and a letter from Gettysburg along with him,” said Charles Eggers. “I have it all. I have been told he buried his uniform in the walnut trees on the farm.” Bair and his wife Emily had five children, W.E., John, Bruce, Ida and Ed Bair. After Bair passed away in 1929, his children inherited the original 80 acres and two of his sons, W.E and Bruce went on to purchase more ground – 40 acres for $2,000 in Section 27 of Denison Township in 1903 from R.A. Romans and approximately 40 acres in Section 15 in 1929. Eggers said in 1946 the Denison Airport acquired 50 of the 80

Established: 1881 Generations: 5th Township: Denison Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018

acres from the original land purchase made by Samuel A. Bair. Of the five Bair children, Eggers said only Ed married and he eventually ended up with all of the farmland. Ed Bair, who was living in California at the time, sold the land to Fred and Elsie Fuller (Eggers’ grandparents) in the 1950s and 1960s. Elsie Fuller and Ed Bair were distant cousins, but Eggers said Ed wanted the farm to remain in the family. “He (Fred Fuller) wanted to farm it and he (Ed Bair) wanted them to have it,” said Eggers. Eggers credits his grandmother, Elsie Fuller for keeping a hold of precious artifacts that they come across whether it be on their own farm or even finds from the local landfill. “It is because of her, the family knows so much about their ancestors,” said Rita Eggers, adding her large collection of arrowheads she dug out of the farm’s creek are on display in their home. “I love old things. I love their

history. This place has history — my history,” said Eggers. “I enjoy retelling the stories my grandmother told me about the early times here. I also like showing people the family heirlooms and telling the stories about them. Because people did not throw anything away back then, we still have a lot of the old machinery, housewares and land deeds.” Eggers said his grandfather, Fred Fuller had off-farm jobs including working at the sanitary landfill. They would spend time out there with him and if there was something they felt worth keeping — they did. A wooden washing machine, furniture and even a slot machine that was full of Indian Nickels. All of those finds, Eggers said he still has today. “We didn’t have a lot of money so anything we could use at home we would,” he said. The fourth generation to take over the family farm was Eggers’ parents. His mother, Florence Jean was the Fullers’ only child and she and her husband Harold Eggers took over the farm. “Dad took over after grandpa passed away – grandpa deeded them the land. He didn’t farm the ground but had livestock and we continue to have livestock and rent the ground out today,” said Eggers. After his dad’s death, the land was divided between Eggers and his brother Richard Eggers. Eggers said he and Rita decided

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

CHARLES EGGERS looks over a Civil War gun along with a sword and drum that belonged to a family member of Eggers. That Civil War veteran homesteaded in Crawford County near Denison on what has now become a Century Farm. to buy out his brother’s share making them the sole owners of the land in three sections. The original house on Section 22 where Eggers grew up was replaced with a new home in 1995, but the original house in Section 15 where his grandparents made their home still stands. Eggers has many memories of all of the hard work he put in helping his dad and grandfather — keeping fences repaired, put-

ting up hay and more. “It was hard work, but it was fun work,” he said. Eggers said he appreciates all of the hard work his ascendants before him put in to buy and hold onto the land over the years. “This Century Farm means a great deal to me,” he said. “Even though a large portion was lost to a land acquisition, the ancestors kept most of it together, even through the Depression.”


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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Dallas County

Military veteran’s family has two Century Farms in Dallas County KRISTIN DANLEYGREINER Farm—News—Iowa—

DALLAS CENTER — Dallas County resident John L. Nelson isn’t just the proud owner of one Century Farm, but rather has family ties to two Century Farms not too far apart from each other. One is situated in rural Dallas Center where Nelson lives; the other is approximately 25 miles away in rural Redfield, but both lie within Dallas County and were started by relatives a few generations ago. The farm in Dallas Center belonged to Nelson’s maternal grandfather and the one in Redfield was started by his paternal great-grandfather. He said his father eventually farmed the land at the properties and after he passed away, Nelson and his brother each inherited a farm. “We had so many farm chores that I remember clearly when we were kids,” Nelson said. “We would water the cows, work with the hogs and chickens. We had a five-crop rotation of oats, alfalfa, corn, corn and beans. We raised our crops for livestock feed, since we fattened our cattle, hogs and chickens.” Years ago, his grandmother bought neighboring land to their farm, adding 80 acres to the site. Her father hailed from Illinois but

Nelson Family Farm Established: 1910 Generations: 3rd Township: Linn Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 settled in the area in the 1860s, Nelson said. Even though he didn’t remain on the farm, it was never far from his heart. He opted not to work the dirt but instead pursued an offfarm career in agriculture. “Being named a Century Farm is a big deal,” Nelson said. “My grandfather bought his farm in 1918 and all of my grandparents endured the Great Depression. The fact that they didn’t lose the farm during that time is impressive. Then when he passed away, his son and daughter each received a portion of the farm to make sure it stayed in the family.” Growing up on the farm, Nelson made sure to remain in agriculture. He attended Iowa State University, worked as an ag educator, then switched to work in the ag business sector. He also proudly served his country as a member of the military and was

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

JOHN AND CAROL ANN NELSON stand outside their home which is the original homestead of his family. He left the family farm to pursue a career in the ag industry and with the military, but was thrilled to return home and live in the original homestead years later. in the National Guard for 26 years. “I worked for Tractor Supply, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, a farm equipment wholesale company and then finished up at an-

other business, always making sure that I was involved in the ag industry my whole career,” he said. Nelson’s wife, Carol Ann, hailed from a farm in Boone. So

when they had the chance to return to the farmstead, they jumped at the chance. “We both learned really good work ethic growing up on the farm,” Nelson said.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Dickinson County

Grassland turns to home for 129 years By KAREN SCHWALLER

MILFORD — Lawrence Long and his wife had a vision when they came to Milford in 1890. That vision included claiming ownership on 160 acres of land and making it their home. When the Longs came to Milford from eastern Iowa, the land they settled on southeast of Milford was ‘flat’ — with no buildings on it. They built a house, a barn in the 1920s, and followed that with an engine house/wash house combination, a corn crib and a chicken house. “Grandpa planted with horses,” said Dick Long, adding that Lawrence Long also raised cows, chickens, turkeys and geese. The farm was updated after Rob and Clara Long purchased it in 1929, adding a new house, a new chicken house, machine shed, hog house in the late 1930s or early 1940s, a cattle shed in the 1940s and a new corn crib. They also constructed a two-car garage using lumber from the original corn crib. “They used threshing machines back then, and the threshing machine would fit in the machine shed, but they had to dig down a little bit around the edge to (get it under the eve) and into the shed,” said Long. Long said his father kept horses around to use, and also raised beef cows that they would milk, along with pigs and chickens. When the Great Depression hit, Long said his parents almost lost the farm.

Long Farm Established: 1890 Generations: 3rd Township: Milford Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 “My parents had borrowed some money earlier on, and they used that money to help keep the farm,” he said. Long said his parents sold eggs to buy groceries and used the leftover money to build the house. “That new home cost $12,000 to build in 1949,” said Long. He said Rob and Clara Long raised corn, soybeans, oats and hay and used 80 percent of it for their own purposes. “Back then the price of corn never varied over or under 10 cents a year,” said Long. He said his father planted with a two-row John Deere horse planter. “One time Dad was planting corn and it began to snow….in mid-May,” said Long. “It snowed so hard he couldn’t see the planter marker track anymore, so he unhitched the planter and walked the horses home.” The farm was further updated when it was purchased in the 1970s by Dick and Sandra Long. Dick Long was the youngest of five children in the family (all boys). As the last to graduate, he wanted to stay home and farm, while his brothers had no interest

-Farm News photo by Karen Schwaller

HORSES WERE A BIG PART of farming for many years at the Long farm, and Dick Long has much of that memorabilia around his farm today. Here he displays a piece of equipment that would keep flies away from horses so the flies would not bite. This is only one of many pieces of horse equipment Long has retained and owned over the years. in it. Long put up a few steel bins, a Morton building, tore down the cattle shed and put up two garages. Dick and Sandra Long had a farrow-to-finish hog operation and raised sheep in their years on the farm, along with some cows they had for a short time. They also

raised corn and soybeans, while Long also spent time growing his auctioneering business, which he did for 62 years. Long said his fondest memories include growing up on the place where he lived his entire life. “We didn’t have much, but we

always had plenty to eat,” he said “I had thought about selling this place when we moved to Spencer, but when I think about my folks in the cemetery now and how hard they worked to keep it … and what they would think if I sold his place … I decided not to sell it.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Emmet County

‘I consider it an honor to live here’ By KRISS NELSON

WALLINGFORD – Thanks to the cooperation of her nieces and nephews, Jeanne Handeland’s family’s Heritage Farm will continue on for hopefully another 150 years. Handeland owns shares of her Heritage Farm along with her nieces and nephews: Anna Rau, Katie Linn, Claire Haskell, Michael Skattebo, and Nathan Skattebo. “I consider it an honor to live here, to take care of it and I am my proud nieces and nephews have decided to keep it. They live all over the United States. It’s a connection to their dad,” she said. The legacy of their family farm started when Handeland’s greatgreat-grandparents, Niels and Ingeborg Osher, made their way from Norway in 1850, settling in Wisconsin for a stint before making their way to Emmet County. Handeland said she believes her ancestors followed fellow Norwegians to Wisconsin and later to homestead their farm. The rolling landscape could have been attractive to them as it may have reminded them of their home country, she added. Coming by covered wagon, they settled near what would become the town of Wallingford in 1868. “They made a lot of sacrifices,” she said. “You always picture there being a lot of trees, but it was bare and the heat would get to them. Many homes were built in the sides of hills, in the ground.” Niels and Ingeborg Osher’s move to Iowa must have been a

Skattebo Family Farm Established: 1868 Generations: 5th/6th Township: High Lake Acres: 240 Awarded: 2018 successful one, as, Handeland said, according to written history of her family, Niels owned the post office in Wallingford for a time and was also known to loan money out to people in need. Niels and Ingeborg Osher had 10 children — eight of which were born in Norway and the other two in Wisconsin. Of the two born later, one was Handeland’s great-grandfather, Edwin Osher. Edwin Osher would grow up on the farm and later marry Clara in 1884. They built a log cabin, Handeland said, and would travel to Algona by horse and wagon for supplies. Clara Osher worked for Esther Ridley — for whom the city of Estherville is named. Eventually Edwin and Clara Osher built a home on their farm, Handeland believes sometime in the 1890s. That home is currently being renovated by her son, Mark Handeland. Handeland said she is happy to see her son putting in his efforts to save the family’s original home especially since the acreage where the house stands had been sold off for

some time, but everyone is thankful it is back in the family now. Niels Osher sold the land to his son, Edwin, and his wife, Clara, in 1893. The couple had three children, Elmer, Nels and Eda. Eda was Handeland’s grandmother. The farm would later go to their son Nels. Nels and his wife, Winnie Osher, farmed -Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson for several years milking cows in JEANNE HANDELAND stands next to the barn that sits on her family’s Heritage the barn, Hande- Farm. land believes, due to the barn’s layout. Together they had six children switch over from milking to raising the farming operations, Handeland said her late husband and father and after Winnie Osher passed beef cattle,” she said. Not too long after he bought the farmed. away, Handeland said her parents, Handeland said her late husband, Earnest and Mary Margaret Skatte- land, Earnest Skattebo installed Dan Handeland, farmed for a bo, bought the farm from Winnie’s slopes, terraces and a pond. “Conservation was important to while, assisted by his father-in-law, estate in 1971. before he passed away. “It was a good farm to buy, the my dad,” she said. Those conservation efforts conAt that time, her father was still location was good, it was adjacent to our farm, and it also kept it in the tinue to be recognized and expand- helping on the farm. ed upon today, Handeland said as “He had semi-retired in 1980, family,” she said. The land purchase also allowed her cousin, David Skattebo, who but continued to help on the farm,” for Earnest to be able to quit the farms the land, incorporates no-till she said. “The fall before he died, and strip-till practices as well most he hauled the last load of corn in milking business. “With the extra pasture ground recently dedicating land to a polli- and passed away just three months later. He worked as long as he he acquired it allowed him to nator and wild life food plots. Before David Skattebo took over could — he was 94.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Floyd County

Celebration of Heritage Farm was two years of planning Melcher Family Farm

OSAGE — With 150 years of continuous family ownership, there should be no shortage of interesting stories about a family’s Heritage Farm. The Heritage Farm of the Melcher Family Farm proves this. Gayle Melcher, the fifth generation owner who lives in Osage where he has been the manager of the Osage Co-op for 12 years, started preparations for the Heritage Farm award ceremony at the Iowa State Fair two years in advance. He used this time to accumulate farm and family history. The Melcher Heritage farm consists of two 80-acre parcels in Floyd County, south of Charles City, purchased by George Melcher. The west 80 acres was bought in 1868 for $3,000 and the east 80 acres was bought by George Melcher in 1885 for $1,000. George Melcher immigrated from Germany in 1844 and farmed in the state of New York, then moved to Wisconsin and to Chickasaw County in 1865. While in New York, he married another German immigrant, Mary, and they became the parents of 11 children. Their first son, Lewis, Gayle Melcher’s great-grandfather, in 1865 enlisted in the 29th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War at age 16. In February 1865, his unit traveled to Mobile, Alabama, where his company was assigned, arriving on

Established: 1868 Generations: 5th Township: West St. Charles Acres: 120 Awarded: 2018 April 8. The next day, April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Lewis Melcher stayed in Mobile as a guard. His unit returned home in June and he was mustered out in October. George Melcher sold the farm to his son Lewis and wife Caroline. Lewis later sold it to his son Charles, who in 1903 built a new house on the farm next to the road. A barn was built in 1910. When the Depression arrived, there was $10,000 owed to an insurance company against the farm by owners Charles, Lewis Melcher’s son, and his wife Amelia. The family had a meeting to decide whether to keep going or not. The insurance company already had too many farms and told the Melchers to pay what they could. The insurance company was paid off in 1942 and according to Gayle Melcher, when Amelia Melcher’s estate was settled in 1959, each child received $10,000 as their share. Son Os-

car and his wife Phyllis, Gayle Melcher’s parents, became the owners of the 160 acres in 1958 for $350 an acre. Oscar Melcher was a World War II veteran and after the war, met his wife Phyllis, a widow whose husband was killed in France during World War II. As Oscar was a veteran, his father Charles gave him first chance at buying the farm. Oscar Melcher worked at the -Farm News photo by Clayton Rye Charles City Oliver plant GAYLE MELCHER, holding the Melcher Family Heritage Farm award, sits next and farmed. “He raised a to life-size images of the first owners, George and Mary Melcher, his great-great lot of hogs and grandparents. had a stock cow herd,” said Massachusetts, Colorado, WisGayle Melcher. “He was always gram. “He’s a cracker-jack farmer,” consin, Michigan, and Illinois. progressive in building.” Tent, tables, and chairs were Lloyd Melcher, Oscar’s son said Melcher of Greenzweig. Greenzweig attended the Her- rented with a catered meal. and Gayle’s brother, farmed the “Nobody had to bring anyHeritage Farm until 2010, quit- itage Farm award ceremony at the State Fair along with the thing,” said Melcher. ting due to a heart problem. Melcher used social media to The farm is now owned by members of the Melcher family. A family reunion of the arrange the reunion and continGayle Melcher, Judy Coyne, and Darcy Mullenbach. It is rented to Melchers was held Aug. 18, ues using it to keep the family inGrant Greenzweig as part of the 2018, at the Heritage Farm with formed as he plans holding a reIowa Beginning Farmer pro- family arriving from Alaska, union every two years.






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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Franklin County

Farming during the day and dancing at night By CLAYTON RYE

ACKLEY — Patty and Gaylord Lupkes were married in 1950. They lived in Ackley for 1 1/2 years, where Patty had grown up after moving there from the town of Faulkner. However, after getting out of the Navy, Gaylord Lupkes wanted to be a farmer. “He wanted a farm to farm,� said Patty Lupkes about her husband. They moved to the farm where Patty’s father, Joseph Burns, grew up but never farmed as he had a repair business in Faulkner and then worked for a Plymouth car dealer when they moved to Ackley. That was a change from when Patty Lupkes was growing up in town. “I’m never going to move out to that farm,� said Patty Lupkes when she was living in town. But she did move to the farm in March 1952. The Heritage Farm got its start in 1868 when Michael Burns, an Irish immigrant who arrived in America in 1844, bought 80 acres and another 80 acres south of the first 80 in 1872. Michael Burns married Bridget Welch in 1852 and they had a son James, who became Patty Lupkes’ grandfather. James married Anna and for 10 years they lived with his parents and sister Emma in the house on the

Gaylord and Patty Lupkes Established: 1868 Generations: 5th Township: Osceola Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 original 80 acres. James built a new house on the south 80 acres. James and Anna had two children, Mary Agnes, and Joseph, Patty Lupkes’ father. After James passed away at age 57, Anna stayed on the farm. Her cousin Dan then farmed the ground while living in the house with Anna and her children. Joseph Burns married Gladys on July 2, 1929. Gladys taught country school, and then taught in Geneva and Ackley. His family was living in Ackley when he passed away at age 58. The farm had been rented out to Otto Winters for $7 an acre. He also provided for Emma Burns until she passed away having never left the home where she grew up. The farm was in poor shape when Gaylord and Patty Lupkes moved onto the place. “It was a mess. They never mowed the lawn. There was no water, no heat,� said Lupkes.

“We changed the looks of that house.� Gaylord Lupkes farmed and worked at the Faulkner elevator. He quit farming in 2000 when their son Dave took over. They had a traditional farm with crops and livestock plus raising their five children. “We always had a big garden and used our own meat,� said Patty Lupkes. Livestock included hogs and dairy cattle. “We always had hogs,� she said. Her job was cleaning the milk separator and to this day she won’t drink skim milk. “That’s what we fed our hogs,� she said. In their spare time the Lupkes’ went dancing. “We always went dancing. We went to Iowa Falls, to the Surf in Clear Lake, the Val Air in Des Moines, and the Electric Park in Waterloo,� she said. Gaylord Lupkes passed away in 2014 at the age of 91. Lupkes continued to live on the farm for sometime before moving back to Ackley where she now lives in the same neighborhood, only two doors away from the home where she grew up. In high school Lupkes worked part time for McGrevey Law Office in Ackley. After moving back to Ackley from the farm, she returned to work for the same law office part time and then full time.

-Farm News photo by Clayton Rye

PATTY LUPKES holds a history book of Ackley that shows where she went to school.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Greene County

Bardole family cares for the land for generations By DARCY DOUGHERTY MAULSBY

RIPPEY — Eliza Bardole was a dutiful farm wife and mother, but she was fed up by the time her family settled near Rippey more than 100 years ago. She had moved with her husband, Bill, from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Illinois, and then to Iowa (after the couple shipped all their worldly goods by rail to Greene County in a boxcar secured with a padlock), but Bill’s incessant buying and selling had to stop. “Bill bought and sold all kinds of stuff,” said Roy Bardole, whose great-grandfather bought and sold farmland near Rippey and Paton. “When he bought the home farm here, Eliza said his buying and selling had to stop.” But along came Bill Bardole’s buddy Bill Holmes.

Bardole Century Farm Established: 1901 Generations: 6th Township:Washington Acres: 160 Awarded: 2002

“Those two were drinking one time, and Bill Holmes said he’d like to buy a little part of the northeast corner of the homeplace,” said Bardole, who noted the deal was tough for his wheeler-dealer ancestor to resist. “According to family lore, my great-grandfather had to sleep on the couch for a week or two after that.” Bill Bardole was also a horse trader. One time he sold a blind horse to a buyer, Bardole said. “When the man said he liked the looks of the horse, Bill told him, ‘That horse just doesn’t look good,’” Bardole said. “The buyer persisted, however, and the two men struck a deal.” It wasn’t too long, however, before the horse’s new owner returned to complain. “Bill, you sold me a blind horse!” Bardole said. “My great-Submitted photo

ROY BARDOLE’S mother, Mary, helped haul grain on the farm in the 1940s

grandfather simply said, ‘I told you that horse didn’t look good.’ He was a real character.” Adapting to changing times The history of the Bardole family in Greene County is filled with tales of humor, hard times, persistence and success through the generations. Bill Bardole’s son Nathan -Photo courtesy of Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association (“Nate”) and his wife, Alberta, FOUR GENERATIONS of the Bardole family are proud to be part of their Cencarried on the tury Farm, including (left to right) Tim, Schyler, Adam and Roy. family’s farming tradition, as did pleasure to have your family intheir son, Paul, who was born in rest of his life,” he said. Bardole would come to under- volved in the farm,” said Bardole, 1913. After completing his education stand this on a deeper level when who enjoys introducing his young at the Rippey Consolidated School, he went through the 1980s Farm great-grandson Adam to farming. While none of the original Paul Bardole attended a business Crisis. “The big lesson I learned? Be buildings are left on the Bardole college in Des Moines in the early careful,” said Bardole, who began farm, the farm’s Century Farm 1930s. “Granddad’s health was declin- farming with his father full-time roots run deep. “One day my son Tim asked, ing, however, and he needed my after earning his farm operations dad to him plant the crop,” said degree from Iowa State University ‘What would Grandpa say about this?’” said Bardole, a past presiBardole, whose grandfather Nate in 1965. The Bardole farm has evolved to dent of the Iowa Soybean Associadied of bronchitis. “Even though Dad was within a month of gradu- include no-till farming practices tion and former United Soybean ating, he came back to the farm and and more family members, includ- Board member. “I think he’d say, ing Bardole’s sons Tim and Peter, ‘Well, are your caring for the land? never regretted it.” The hardships of farming during and Tim’s son, Schyler. The farm Are you doing what it takes to susthe Great Depression confronted is now expanding into pork pro- tain yourself economically and duction with the new Bardole keep the farm productive for future Paul Bardole from the start. “He didn’t talk much about Family Finisher Site near Rippey. generations? If so, you’re doing “It has always been the greatest well.’” those days, but he lived them the

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Guthrie County

Century Farm award recognizes earlier generations By KRISS NELSON

CARROLL – Darwin Betts may be the sole owner of his family’s Century Farm, but he shares the honor and the farm with his family. Darwin Betts’ siblings, Lynn Betts, Jeanne Logston, who recently gathered together to visit about their Century Farm, along with their other siblings, Karen Sparks and Les Betts each own a piece of their family farm and will await their turn to be awarded a Century Farm. In the meantime, they are happy their brother, Darwin Betts took the time to have his piece recognized and so is he. “We did it to honor the folks. We sent it in on their behalf,” Darwin Betts said. “You spend your whole life on the farm, you deserve some sort of recognition.” It all started 137 years ago on March 20, 1882, when Darwin Betts’ great-great-grandparents W.W. and Emma Bailey signed a contract with the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company to purchase 40 acres in Baker Township in Guthrie County.

Betts Family Farm Established: 1882 Generations: 5th Township: Baker Acres: 40 Awarded: 2018 When the contract was paid for in 1887, the couple was given the deed for their new farm. The Bailey’s son, Amos Bailey and his wife Kate, were the next generation to take over the farm when they paid $8,250 in 1897. Darwin Betts said his greatgrandparents bought another 40 acres that was adjoining to the original piece of land in 1910. Both parcels of land were eventually handed down to their daughter, and son-in-law, Pearl and Robert Sloss, Darwin Betts’ grandparents. Darwin Betts said it is stated in the deed, the land was given to his grandmother, “from father to daughter as advancement” for the price of “love and affection” even though the estimated value of the farms at the time -Submitted photo

THIS PHOTO dated back to the early 1960s shows Rolland Betts with some of this Herford cattle herd.

was $6,000. Darwin Betts’ brother, Lynn Betts, said their grandparents, farmed with horses their entire farming career and it showed in more ways than one. “I don’t think they owned a tractor,” Lynn Betts said. “When they bought a new car in town and drove it home he had to stop to open the gate. Instead of pushing on the brakes, he pulled back on the steering wheel and went ‘whoa’ and ended up going through the gate.” “I never saw him drive over 20 miles per hour,” said Darwin Betts. The horses definitely listened to Robert Sloss more than his car did. “When they hooked up the horses, those horses listened. They knew what to do,” said Darwin Betts. Hearing the stories of picking corn by hand are the ones that stick out in both Darwin and Lynn Betts’ mind. “Our mother Bonita and sister Karen (Sparks) also helped, but we were too young,” said Lynn Betts. The fourth generation to take over the family farm was Robert and Pearl Sloss’ daughter, Bonita and her husband Rolland Betts. They officially took title to the 80 acres in 1968, but had been farming the land long before that time. They farmed the land 20 years before they became the official owners and had also been farming an adjacent 80 acres. During their farming career, Rolland and Bonita Betts built up a large cattle operation. They actively farmed until 198, but continued to raise cattle until the mid-1990s.


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-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

SIBLINGS LYNN BETTS, Jeanne Logston and Rolland Betts enjoy the time they spend together on their family’s Century Farm. Although Rolland Betts wasn’t physically farming, he kept up with the operation and the large garden out on the farm - visiting the farm practically daily from his home in town. Since that time, the farm has been leased out. The 80 acres that has been recognized as a Century Farm has been in the Conservation Research Program (CRP) since the mid-1980s. “It’s highly erodible, hilly ground and dad knew back then it needed saved,” said Darwin Betts. “He would always say that ground needed to be hay ground or pasture ground, not to be used for row crops.”

Darwin Betts has made his farm a recreational area for his entire family that includes ponds stocked with fish. This not only allows for his family and siblings to enjoy the farm, but it has become a favorite place for the sixth and seventh generation as well. “They beg to go to the farm,” said sister Jeanne Logston. “You get a sense of pride while you’re out there.” “It means a lot to be able to look back and see what it took to acquire it, hold on to it — all of that effort,” said Darwin Betts. “We spent years growing up on it. Being able to go back to it and enjoy it —it brings back memories.”

FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019



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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Hamilton County

Mail-order farmhouse stands the test of time By KRIS WALKER

It’s hard to miss the massive barn and iconic foursquare farmhouse at the junction of 220th Street and Neely Avenue in rural Hamilton County. With its tidy yard and signature barn quilt, the stately farm has been home to the Walker family for four generations. Today, Jim and Patty Walker reside in the house that was originally ordered from a Montgomery Ward catalog in 1918. Jim smiles, “It’s amazing to think about that now … that it was so well-built without all today’s technology.” Truly, it was a concept ahead of its time. This brand of forward-thinking innovation coupled with strong family connections has enabled the farm to endure the test of time. Just last summer, the family gathered at the Iowa State Fair to receive their Century Farm Award presented by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau. Patty’s eyes well with pride when she remembers the day. “It meant so much for us to have everyone there, it really is an honor,” she said. It’s a close-knit group, and the entire family values agriculture — whether they are actively involved in the farm or support those that do — because it is in their blood and part of their history. Deep County



Walker Family Farms Established: 1918 Generations: 4th Township: Blairsburg Acres: 40 Awarded: 2018

Jim’s grandfather, Winfred Walker, was born in 1883 near the Clarion area. The youngest of his family, he was only 4 years old when his mother, Olive, passed away. Upon her passing, his father, William, chose to head west to Idaho but feared his young son could not manage the difficult journey. So, “Winnie” was left in the care of their neighbors, the John Richardson family, who later moved just six miles east of Webster City. He would continue to live with the Richardsons through his 20s, when he reunited with his brothers in Canada for a period of time, but still felt a desire to return to his adopted home in Iowa. Eventually he returned to the Kamrar area and worked for the Peter Frohling family. In 1910, he married Peter’s daughter, Nettie, and rented 80 acres near Kamrar. In 1918, Winnie and Nettie purchased part of the Richardson farm of his youth. With materials shipped on the railroad from Hamilton Washington State to the nearby settlement of Stonega, the barn

was constructed first with the help of friends and neighbors. In true Midwest fashion of the time, its completion was celebrated with a dance in the hayloft. The catalog purchase, delivery and construction of the house would follow and the Walker family moved to the new farm in 1919. Winnie and Nettie had four children: Lillian, Alvin (Jim’s father), Alice, and Winfred L. The barn and house would see the evolution of agriculture and transportation in throughout their 100-year history. While the hayloft was home to dances and untold fun by generations of children, it was a valuable warehouse for hay and feed for an everevolving roster of livestock on the farm. What began as a subsistence-sized dairy herd in the early days, grew to a 30-head milking operation in the 1960s, and was replaced with a hog operation the 1970s. By the late 1990s, the last load of hogs was sold, and Jim and his oldest son, Bill, shifted their focus on enhancing the farm’s row crop business. What began in 1918 with 40 acres worked with horses and Oliver tractors has grown to over 3,000 acres managed or rented, and farmed with GPS technology and a fleet of John Deere equipment. A high-capacity grain system sits where a corn crib once stood, and the three-sided hog shelters were reimagined into a heated shop and office. Beef calves bounce in the pasture where milk

Webster City, IA


-Submitted photo

THE FOURSQUARE FARMHOUSE of Jim and Patty Walker’s was ordered from a Montgomery Ward catalog in 1918.

cows once grazed. Highway 20 transformed from a gravel road to a bustling highway then back to a quiet county blacktop after the four-lane highway was added to Iowa’s map. Although a lot has changed, the strength of the family remains the same. Operation of the business has transitioned through Winnie, Alvin, Jim and Bill; but it’s the support from the entire family tree

that has allowed this farm to thrive despite the challenges of time. The big white farmhouse appears as the backdrop in thousands of pictures of Easter egg hunts, baby showers, holiday gatherings, graduations, first cars, and homecomings. It’s seen the best of times and the worst of times, but has always been home to this family with strong connections to the land and each other.

FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019



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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Hancock County

Hard work, determination, and frugality started this Century Farm By CLAYTON RYE

KLEMME — Many times, in the history of a Century Farm, there is one person in particular who through a combination of hard work, determination, and frugality, gave the Century Farm its beginning. Luverne and Mary Ann Schmidt have a detailed history of their Century Farm going back to the family members who emigrated from Germany. It was William Schmidt, Luverne Schmidt’s grandfather, who purchased the first land to start what is the Schmidt Family Farm today. William Schmidt was born in 1862 in Germany. His mother was Sophia Schmidt. Joachim Medaus, who was farming near Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was left with five children after his wife passed away. Apparently he was acquainted with Sophia and asked her to come to America with William, which she did in 1871 or 1872. Joachim and Sophia were married in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, May 30, 1872, and kept farming there. After attending school, William Schmidt began working on area farms and then to Escanaba, Michigan, where he worked in a pinery. He worked there four years and saved $2,200. Around 1887, when William Schmidt was 25 years old, he

Schmidt Family Farms Established: 1890 Generations: 5th Township: Twin Lakes Acres: 320 Awarded: 1991 moved near Oelwein, working as a farm laborer for four more years and continuing to save his money. William Schmidt moved to Hancock County in 1890, near his uncle. also named William Schmidt. He purchased the first parcel of the Century Farm in 1890, a half section for $8 an acre. He started farming with three horses, a wagon, and a walking plow he brought from Oelwein. On July 24, 1891, William Schmidt married German immigrant Lena Wacker (pronounced Walker) and gained the nickname of Walker as there were three William Schmidts living within 1 1/2 miles of each other. William and Lena Schmidt were the parents of three sons, Albert, Fred, and Herman. Herman became Luverne Schmidt’s father. The William Schmidt farm raised corn, oats, and hay. There

was a herd of 35 to 40 milking shorthorn cattle, dairying with about 12 cows while feeding out the bull calves. There was also about 50 head of Chester White and Poland China hogs, Rhode Island chickens, and 12 draft horses with a team of buggy horses and ducks. William Schmidt bought land with his next purchase of 160 acres in 1910 for $11,400. An additional 160 acres was bought in 1918 for $24,400. Lena Schmidt willed the farm of her parents to her husband William upon her death in 1922. On Feb. 15, 1929, 160 acres was bought for $13,841.50. William and Lena Schmidt retired from farming in 1920 and moved to a house in the town of Klemme. His retirement sale was held Feb. 19, 1920, with the attendees arriving by horse and bobsled as the roads were drifted shut. William Schmidt lived with his middle son Fred and Fred’s wife Esther Schmidt after Lena’s death for 32 years until he passed away Jan. 9, 1955, at age 92. William Schmidt’s son — also Luverne’s father — Herman married Edna Priebe on Sept. 3, 1931, and began farming in 1932 with eight head of horses, two colts, on 210 acres of land. Luverne Schmidt began farming with his dad in 1952 and continued until 1976, raising hogs,

beef, and chickens. Dairying and employee has duties that include chickens were discontinued in field work, manure hauling, main1968. tenance, and more. Luverne Schmidt has added to This year, 2019, will mark Luthe farm’s land, buying a neigh- verne Schmidt’s 67th planting boring quarter section in 1965 season. and his Uncle Fred’s farm. “I kept everything going,” said Luverne Schmidt. Today, Schmidt Family farms is a C corporation raising beef cattle, hogs, and crops. Luverne and Mary Ann Schmidt are parents of four children. With five generations of ownership, the sixth generation is in place consisting of a 4year-old, 6-yearold, and 2 1/2year-old. Besides the family members who work on the farm, there are -Farm News photo by Clayton Rye three full time employees, with two of them LUVERNE SCHMIDT holds an aerial photo of working in the their Century Farm in the basement of his hog buildings home, where he has many mementoes of only. The third farming.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Hardin County

Many years, many changes By CLAYTON RYE

UNION — At age 93, Joe Rash has many years of farming behind him and he isn’t done yet as he remains active on his family’s Heritage Farm with his son Jerry and grandson John. The Rash Heritage Farm got its start when Lyman Rockwood bought 80 acres near Union from the government. He was the great grandfather of Joe Rash’s wife Pat. Pat Rash’s uncle, Dean Spurlin, put Joe to work on the family farm in 1951 after serving in the Army. Dean Spurlin helped Joe and Pat Rash with land and machinery. The Rash’s farm operation included cattle, hogs, and sheep. They discontinued the livestock in the 1990s and decided to concentrate on cattle with a purebred Angus herd in addition to acquiring more land. Joe and Pat Rash farm with their son Jerry Rash. Their grandson John Rash joined the family farm after living in Nebraska where he learned about cow-calf raising and now the Rash’s do it in Iowa. Grandson John is responsible for the cattle while Jerry Rash does crops and hay. They have 240 registered Angus cows on 450 acres of pasture. They have a feed lot where they keep over 200 head of steers and heifers, fattening the steers to 1,500-1,550 pounds and 1,350 pounds for the heifers. About 10 bulls are sold locally.

Rash Family Farm Established: 1854 Generations: 7th Township: Union Acres: 80 Awarded: 2004 The centerpiece of the Rash Heritage Farm is the cattle operation but crops are of equal importance. “I am as proud of a good clean pasture as I am of a good clean cornfield,” said Joe Rash. Joe Rash farms with his son, Jerry and grandson John. Two farms are farmed together while remaining independent. Joe is part of the discussion when big purchases are being decided, usually during a daily lunch time meeting. Joe Rash has served 75 years on community boards and organizations. This past March, Joe Rash was awarded Wallace’s Farmer Master Farmer award. This wasn’t the first time Joe Rash was recognized with an award. He and his wife Pat were inducted into the 4H Hall of Fame in 2007. Joe Rash served on the county fair board and was a 4-H leader for 19 years. Pat Rash led a 4-H club for 21 years. Joe Rash lives in the town of Union and is independent. He has

an unrestricted driver’s license although he acknowledges he doesn’t do any long distance driving, preferring to stay close to home. When Joe Rash describes events of long ago, he speaks of them in the first person because he was there. He recalled the extreme weather of 1936 when he was a young boy. “My dad was farming in 1936 during the Depression. It was the most snow with a hot and dry summer. It stayed below zero for thirty days,” he said. “My folks were so poor during those ‘30s; they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Fortunately, they had a big garden.” Joe Rash grew up with two brothers and three sisters. When the boys were gone, his dad got a corn picker and sold the dairy cows. Joe Rash remembers throwing baskets out of a silo to feed the cattle. “I knew how many baskets of silage were in that silo,” said Joe Rash. Joe Rash’s first planter was a two row, horse drawn -Farm News photo by Clayton Rye planter that used a wire to check plant. JOE RASH poses with his Wallace’s Farmer Master Farmer award he “What a change,” said received in March. Joe Rash.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Humboldt County

Humboldt County farm receives Century and Heritage Farm award in 2018 By KRISS NELSON

1910. “My BRADGATE — A cousin Humboldt County Established: 1868 saw him farm received a doudown at Generations: 4th ble-honor last sumthe river Township: Avery mer at the Iowa State combing Fair. Acres: 760 his hair,” “Brown Empire,” Brown Awarded: 2018 owned by Martin said. “It Brown, Michael scared Brown, Diane Losey my and Linda Boell, and cousin, first purchased by their great- so he ran away. The Indian just grandfather, Nelson Hemerson, laughed.” in 1867 — and officially The location of the farm alrecorded in 1868 — was award- lowed for a lot of game hunting. ed the honors of both Century The harvests from the hunting and Heritage Farm. helped Hemerson pay for the Martin Brown said his great- land. grandfather came to the HumOne hundred and fifty years boldt County area from Madi- later, shooting remains a large son, Wisconsin after his daugh- part of the Brown family, ter (and Brown’s grandmother) though today it’s mainly as Lettie was born. sport. “He built the house and once “We have award winning trap the house was built the family shooters in the family,” said came out here by covered wag- Brown. on,” Brown said. The second generation was Since it was so close to the Brown’s grandparents — Spirit Lake Massacre, Brown Hemerson’s daughter, Lettie said American Indians were still and her husband William prevalent in the area. Brown. “Grandma said they kept a pot William and Lettie Brown on the stove for scraps and be- were able to hold on to a fair ing close to the river, Indians amount of the original 760 would stop and ask for food and acres. they gave them those scraps,” he The younger Brown said they said, adding that he was told were given 103 acres, bought that the last time his family saw some from a family member and an Indian near the farm was inherited more, allowing them

Brown Empire

to keep 260 acres. Brown said his grandfather was a mailman when he married his grandmother. And despite not having any experience with farming, they were fortunate to never have to mortgaged the land — not even through the Depression era. William and Lettie Brown continued to farm and had help from their son, Austin “Bus” Brown. -Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson “My dad was born in 1908 MARTIN BROWN poses with the Century Farm certificate as well as the Herand by the itage Farm certificate he was awarded last year at the Iowa State Fair. 1920s he was helping to farm,” said family member that is still farm- farms. I think that is really Martin Brown. ing Hemerson’s ground, and something.” Bus Brown and his wife, Mol- feels it is an honor to not only be He feels that the way some ly, raised corn, oats, alfalfa, farming his family’s Century people look at a farm has horses and cattle. Farm, but their Heritage Farm as changed. Martin Brown joined the well. “It used to be the farm was the farming operation and began “There are a hell of a lot of center of their universe,” Brown farming full-time when he mar- 100-year farms around,” he said. “Now, it’s just ground to ried his wife, Nancy. said. “Not a lot of 150-year some. It used to be your life.” Brown is the only original



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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Ida County

Family farm is home By KRISS NELSON

HOLSTEIN – For Beverly Lorenzen, her late husband Richard and her children, the word family in the phrase family farm is the sole purpose for receiving their Century Farm award. It all began when Walter Lorenzen, Richard Lorenzen’s grandfather came from Germany to the United States. After spending some time in Texas he traveled north to Iowa where he met his wife, Emma. To help the new couple start a life together, Emma’s parents bought them 160 acres. It has been said that Walter and Emma were able to pay off the farm from her parents in just short four years. The farm had been built up and owned previously, which made the transition of starting up their own farming operation a little bit easier. One they continued until the early 1940s, Beverly Lorenzen said. Richard Lorenzen’s parents, Clarence and Annie Lorenzen took over the farm at that time; Lorenzen said where they raised a lot of hogs and cattle in addition to their grain farming operation. “They all farmed with horses until the early 1940s, they saw that big change over to tractors,” she said. Soon, it was time for the third generation of the Lorenzen family to take over the farm. Lorenzen said she and Richard moved onto the farm in 1970 and became the official owners in 1994 after

Lorenzen Family Farm Established: 1915 Generations: 3rd Township: Griggs Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 Richard’s father passed away. “It was a lot of hard work,” said Lorenzen. “We had a hired man for the first couple of years, after that, I being a city girl, had to help. There was lots of ‘you can do its.’ I learned to milk cows and we raised chickens and ducks.” Lorenzen and her children, Michael Lorenzen and Kristi Brotherson have memories of the times spent walking beans — often when they said they would rather be off having fun with friends. “It was always just one more round with Richard. That was his philosophy,” said Lorenzen. Before Richard passed away, Brotherson and her husband Travis approached her parents about the possibility of building their new home on a piece of the family farm. “It’s cool to be the fourth generation to be on the farm,” she said. “When we asked if building was a possibility, they had to think about it.” “Richard wasn’t too fond of putting ground out of production, but did it because she was his daugh-

ter,” said Lorenzen. After the Brothersons got the permission, they went ahead and built a home on their family’s farm that is made for them to live in forever. “We built this house to be able to live here for the rest of our lives,” she said. “We are here for the longevity because of this home.” The home may be new, but the

generations prior live on through precious family heirlooms that fill the Brotherson’s home. “This is home, my favorite sign reads ‘Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to’ that sums it up for me,” she said. Michael Lorenzen may not live on his family’s Century Farm but said having a farm that has been in

the family for as long as theirs has and knowing their family’s history is very meaningful – as was the day they accepted their award. Beverly Lorenzen said award day was very special. “I think Richard would have enjoyed the day,” she said. “He was all about family.” “It was family time for me, and that meant a lot,” said Brotherson.

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

KRISTI BROTHERSON, left and Michael Lorenzen, right stand with their mother, Beverly Lorenzen, at Brotherson’s home she has built on a portion of the family’s Century Farm.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Jasper County

Jasper County Century Farm boasts beautiful farmstead, exceptional environmental practices KRISTIN DANLEYGREINER Farm—News—Iowa—

COLFAX — Just a little more than 3 miles southeast of Colfax in Jasper County sits a well-manicured farm operation guarded by an enthusiastic and loyal farm dog. Howard and Judy Bond farm corn and soybeans on what used to be a farm that belonged to Howard’s grandfather. “He bought it in 1906, starting with 40 acres, then expanded it three years later to an 80-acre farm,” Bond said. “My dad farmed it and then I farmed it. We had a dairy and I remember milking cows from first thing in the morning until the last thing at night. It was a diversified farm, too, with chickens and hogs in addition to the dairy and crops.” “We were very busy baling hay in the summer.” The family used milking machines and sold grade A milk in 10-gallon cans kept in an onfarm cooler. Bond said it “definitely was hard work,” but was the only way of life that he knew. “I was involved in 4-H and had livestock projects, showing dairy, beef and hogs,” he said. “After I began farming on my own, I diversified into grain only and sold the livestock after surviving the farm crisis.”

Bond Family Farm Established: 1906 Generations: 3rd Township: Prairie Acres: N/A Awarded: 2018 He enjoys farming. “It’s a nice lifestyle,” Bond said. “It’s very peaceful and you feel good knowing you’re feeding the world.” The Bonds live in Howard’s childhood home, which has undergone considerable renovations with a wood paneled floor to ceiling kitchen and dining room. The red home reminds Bond every day of his childhood on the farm. But there is a twist to this operation. The Bonds have a very sizable pond not far from the home for recreational purposes. After Judy Bond retired, they built a putting green not too far from the house. “A lot of things have changed that’s for sure,” Howard Bond said. “Technology especially, from hydraulics into computerized monitors on the planter and monitors in the combines now.

-Farm News photo by Kristin Danley-Greiner

HOWARD AND JUDY BOND live in the farm’s original homestead where he grew up. The couple built a beautiful pond and a fun putting green not far from the home. It’s a learning curve for somebody my age.” Because their serene property has rolling fields, Bond engages in considerable conservation efforts and engaged in contour farming. In fact, he won the highest award attainable in Jasper

County for his conservation efforts from the Jasper Soil and Water Conservation District — the Lawrence Hammerly Conservation Achievement Award. He has installed terraces, berms, tiling and made other efforts to protect the soil and water


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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Kossuth County

From Prussia to West Bend by way of California By CLAYTON RYE

WEST BEND — Michael Bonnstetter arrived in Kossuth County in 1865, according to his great-grandson Larry Bonnstetter, of West Bend, who lives on the Heritage Farm with his wife Donna. In itself, his arrival is not very unusual. It is the route he took getting there that is unusual. Michael Bonnstetter and his brother Martin left their native Prussia in 1848 — and instead of arriving in New York City like many immigrants, they arrived in New Orleans. They then traveled to St. Louis, but instead of continuing north, they joined an ox train party to Downville, California, to mine for gold. Michael Bonnstetter arrived at Guttenburg in 1858 to invest his mining money by buying a farm. He had married Catherine Dorweiler in 1858 and had four children when he moved to Kossuth County in 1865. His father-in-law also moved to Kossuth County and bought farm

Bonnstetter Farm Established: 1865 Generations: 5th Township: Garfield Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018 land. It is not clear if it was Michael Bonnstetter or his father-in-law who bought the land, but there is an indication it was his father-in-law. Michael and Catherine Bonnstetter eventually had 10 children and owned 720 acres north of West Bend. They lived in a sod house on their farm that was their home until he died in 1913. Catherine died in 1923 at age 89. A Kossuth County history book describes Michael Bonnstetter as an “early pioneer.” That same book said Catherine Bonnstetter “endured many privations and hardships” such as traveling 40 or 50 miles across country to

get supplies or have flour ground. The 10 children stayed in the area, living in the towns of Algona, Whittemore, Rodman, Corwith and West Bend, where Michael’s son Paul lived. Paul Bonnstetter married Susannah Fuchson and they had four boys and six girls, using many of the names of Michael’s children for their children. Susannah lived to be 104 and played the card game of 500 on her 100th birthday. Paul Bonnstetter’s youngest son, Ervin, became the owner of the original farm where the original buildings stood. His wife was Edna Jurgens, whom he knew from being in school at West Bend with her. Ervin and Edna Bonnstetter were married in 1938 and were parents of three children: Larry, Janet and Carol. Ervin Bonnstetter died in 1946 from a dynamite explosion when he was clearing trees. Larry Bonnstetter was 5 years old. His mother Edna moved to town and rented out the farm. Edna then married Cliff Schuller of Mallard, a World War II veteran. Schuller was in the Navy, serving on the USS Alabama where one of his shipmates was baseball pitcher Bob Feller. Besides serving in the Navy, Schuller served as Bob Feller’s catcher on board the ship.

-Farm News photo by Clayton Rye

DONNA AND LARRY BONNSTETTER stand in front of their home on the Heritage Farm north of West Bend.

Larry Bonnstetter was active in sports, music, and speech in high school, graduating in 1959. He next attended Iowa State where he met his wife Donna, a native of Lime Springs. Donna grew up on a farm and wanted to return to a farm. They were married in 1964. The house they live in is on the Heritage Farm. It was built in 1930 after the original house was torn down. -Submitted photo They are the parents of Rick, a contractor in Kansas City; Darren, a THE FARMSTEAD of Larry president of an electronics firm in and Donna Bonnstetter on the California; and Mark, who is assotheir family’s Heritage Farm. ciate athletic director at Eastern Illinois University.

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Larry and Donna Bonnstetter quit farming in 2010 and rented the farm out. This year it will be a certified organic farm after completing the requirements that take several years to be complete. Donna Bonnstetter spent 25 years teaching school. Larry Bonnstetter remembers the hard times of the 1980s and how important she was during those times. “She carried the farm in tough times, mentally and financially,” said Larry Bonnstetter. Larry Bonnstetter summed up his years of farm life in three words. “It’s been good,” he said.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Lyon County

Farming is a family affair By KRISS NELSON

LARCHWOOD – For Mark Roemen, moving his wife, Calleen, and children to the family’s Century Farm means everything. “It was a dream come true the day I moved here,” he said. “It’s a dream come true to raise my family out here.” There is a lot to be learned gr owing up on the farm, Roemen believes. “Farming in general builds character,” he said. “I mean, you got to learn to deal with the hardships. It builds a lot of character at the end of the day, to sit here and take the beating sometimes and ride the high times.” Roemen’s father and uncle, Leonard Roemen and Robert Roemen, are the current owners of the farm that has been in their family since 1917. Roemen’s great-grandparents, John and Gertrude Roemen, came from the Netherlands and purchased the farm in Logan Township from the railroad. Their farming operation was common for one of that era. It included milking cows, raising beef cattle and hogs. The second generation to take over the farm was Roemen’s grandparents, Joseph and Mary Roemen. But they had to make a move. “They had been farming down by Rock Valley for a year and someone else farmed the family farm,” he said. “My great-grandfather wasn’t happy with the tenant’s job so they took it away from him and let

Roemen Farms Established: 1917 Generations: 3rd Township: Logan Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018

grandpa take over the farm, so they moved back up here.” Roemen said Joseph’s brother lived across the road and they farmed together. Keeping the farming operation a family affair is a tradition that is carried on today. Joseph passed away in the 1960s. Roemen said at that time, his uncle Robert had moved off of the farm, attended college and was starting his career as an accountant. “My grandma Mary, my dad and his sister (Karen Buerer) were here running the farm,” he said. “Dad went into the Army and Bob stepped up and moved back to start farming. I think he was happy to be back. It was in his blood.” After Leonard’s time in the service was over, Roemen said his father and uncle were the next to take over the farm and when they started, it was the beginning of Roemen Brothers. Roemen Brothers’ operation, at the beginning consisted of milking cattle and later they switched to raising hogs – introducing a new concept to the area. “They were one of the first ones

to put up a confinement finisher here in this area,” he said. They continued raising hogs until the 1990s when they exited the industry and focused on feeding cattle until the mid-1990s. “When the hog market soured they got out of that,” he said. “But we still had our stock cows.” A rough winter ended that for the Roemens. “When Dad moved off of the farm, I was still working fulltime. We had a hellacious winter. You would come home at night, move snow, feed the cows and do it all over the next night. After that year, we just kind of said hell with the cow business,” he said. Leonard and Robert continued to farm together until it was time to bring in the fourth generation. “My uncle Robert farms with his son and I farm with my dad. We made two father/son operations,” he said. “But we still farm together. All of the equipment is half and half owned. It’s basically just split for the simplicity sake of moving forward with the families.” Roemen said he began farming fulltime with his dad five years ago. The barn on the Roemen farm is the original barn as is the house. Both structures are believed to have been built by John and Gertrude. Roemen said when he moved to the farm they considered tearing the house down and building a new one, but that was something he couldn’t do. “We talked about when we were adding a garage if we should just build a new house, but I can’t get rid


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-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

MARK ROEMEN said it was a dream come true to be able to move back to his family’s Century Farm. of the history here,” he said. Roemen said it is his and his family’s hopes they can keep the farm in the family. “Hopefully we keep making good decisions and keep things

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Marshall County

Patten family now fifth-generation farmers LY H yON TARKGNI TIMES-REPUBLICAN

LISCOMB — Time marches on, but so do traditions. Bill and Roselaee Patten, of rural Liscomb, turned over their farm to son Nick a number of years ago, but Bill Patten relishes taking a break from his fulltime job as Marshall County supervisor to help with the timehonored chores of planting and harvest. “I am kind of the ‘gopher’ guy,� Bill Patten joked. “I do miss doing the chores full-time periodically. What is special to me is working with my son and grandson. That is neat part of farming.� Consequently, he and Rosalee are also thrilled their grandson — who recently graduated from high school — is a fifth-generation family farmer. “Rosalee’s grandfather purchased the farm, then about 160 acres in 1918,� Bill Patten said. “He and family originally farmed in the Union area in nearby Hardin County. Rosalee’s dad followed him, then we came along.� A “pioneer house� on the property built circa 1850, has a unique history, the Pattens learned during a remodeling project. In 1892, a previous owner constructed another “house around the pioneer house,� Bill Patten said. “It is interesting to have that much history in the house one lives in.�

Patten Century Farm Established: 1918 Generations: 3rd Township: Liberty Acres: 200 Awarded: 2018 Bill Patten said the farm has always been a crop and livestock operation, although there are but a few cows now. That is because the farm has only a little pasture. Fewer soybeans were grown in the early years, but more alfalfa and hay was raised when horses were used. As machinery replaced horsepower, alfalfa was reduced and soybeans increased. “Corn, soybeans and hay are principal crops now� Bill Patten said. The farm has grown to 200 acres from its original 160. Bill Patten highly recommended individuals or families who qualify to apply for the Century (100 years) or Heritage (150 years) designations. “It (the application) is easy to do,� Bill Patten said. “One can get it online from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or Iowa Farm Bureau.� And many Patten family members were on hand to receive the handsome Century Farm certifi-

-Submitted photo

THE BILL AND ROSALEE PATTEN FAMILY, of rural Liscomb, is shown receiving a 2018 Century Farm Award in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the 2018 Iowa State Fair. cate and metal marker at last summer’s Iowa State Fair. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation

Vice President Joe Heinrich presented certificates, metal farm markers, and posed for pictures. Naig personally greeted and shook hands with all Century (359 awardees) and Heritage

(148) recipients on stage for the event which begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at or about 6 p.m. This year’s award ceremony is Aug. 15 in the air-conditioned Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.








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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

O’Brien County

Century Farm has seen some tough times LY OEySS RNBSAR

GRANVILLE – Don and Faye Hunt believe it is a miracle their family farm has made it to 109 years of age. Problems started early on for the Hunt family, but through perseverance they pulled through and they were able to proudly accept their Century Farm award last year. Don Hunt’s grandfather, Frederick Hunt, tried farming in Oklahoma after his arrival in the United States from Germany. “There was too many dry years. They came by train with horses and their machinery to Sutherland and drove those 20 miles to the farm,” said Don Hunt. Hunt said he is unsure how his grandfather knew about the land in O’Brien County, but is thankful for the purchase that was made back then. “I thank grandpa over and over for picking up the piece of land,” he said. “We are just so fortunate.” Hunt didn’t get to know either of his grandparents as they died when his father, Tony Hunt and most of his seven siblings were adolescents. “They had eight children, six were born in Oklahoma and two here,” he said. “In 1916 my grandmother died and my grandfather never remarried. He was then killed two years later by a team of runaway horses. All

Hunt Brothers Farm Established: 1910 Generations: 4th Township: Caledonia Acres: 160 Awarded: 2018 eight children were still in his care. They were 18 to five years of age.” Hunt said at that time guardians were appointed and they happened to be four neighbors that each took two children. All of this was done without the guardians having to sell the children’s family farm. “It appears they had very understanding and caring neighbors to not only take guardianship, but to oversee the rent of the land. By doing that, it stayed in the Hunt family,” he said. The eldest sibling, Rose Hunt, married Emil Loutsch and they started farming the Hunt estate. Hunt said his father took over the operation once he was old enough and his sister and brother-in-law then moved to Remsen. Several years later, Hunt said his parents, Tony and Helen Hunt, were able to buy out each of the sibling’s share of the land. “That’s how he gained ownership — slowly,” he said. Hunt said his parents raised

hogs, cattle, chickens and milked cows. “It was a lot more diversified than it is now,” he said. Hunt said they only had 10 head of dairy cattle they milked, which was done all by hand. He also has memories of slopping the hogs with the skim milk from the cream they made and sold to a creamery in Orange City. It’s the memory of the last dairy cow they sold that is really vivid in Hunt’s mind. “It was our last cow, it was 1951 and we had a new house built, the cow got out and pooped on the new sidewalk and I said this was the last time I was going to milk her so right on to the Sioux City stockyards I went and I sold my dad’s last cow. That was the end of the milking business for the Hunt family,” he said. Not only did Hunt end his family’s milking career, he was also instrumental in upgrading to a different kind of horsepower. “I came out of the service in 1959 and was still hauling manure with horses,” he said. “Dad had two horses left. I was going to load manure, the blind horse hit the barn, threw the manure hauler into the barn and I had to fix the barn. I decided we weren’t hauling with horses anymore. Dad called the horse buyer and that was it.” Don and Faye moved to the family farm in 1966 and were able to buy it in 1970. Every-

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

DON AND FAYE HUNT are retired from farming and their sons Steven Hunt and Christopher Hunt have taken ownership of the family farm. thing was good for them until the farm crisis of the 1980s. It was in 1985 their sons, Steven Hunt and Christopher Hunt, took over the ownership of their family farm. “We did what we could to keep it,” said Hunt. “Our sons were able to get a beginning farmer loan. That all helped to secure the family farm. We are happy. It is wonderful it could stay in the family. All of that

hard work paid off.” At that time, Hunt Bros. Farm was started. Through that new beginning, the old family farm saw new hope. Hunt says that hope continues with the possibility of the fifth generation being able to carry on the family farm. “Justin Hunt, Chris’ son, is the fifth generation and works fulltime as a hired hand on the farm,” he said.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Osceola County

Family heirloom began with simple investment LY OKENR SDGWKBBNE

ASHTON—Daryl Henze never lived on the place that now stands as part of his family’s century farm. But that doesn’t dash the pride his own family feels as they honor the hard work that made the honor possible. Henze said his grandparents, William and Anna Henze, married in 1900 and moved to a farm near Ashton in 1902. When they purchased 160 acres of land south of Ashton in 1904, they plunked down $11,300 for 160 acres. That comes out to $70.62 per acre. William and Anna Henze got to work over time making their farm a productive one, constructing a barn, house (in the 1920s or ‘30s), hog house, corn crib, chicken house and machine shed. They raised hogs, cattle, chicken and sheep. “Grandpa died at 60 years old,” said Daryl Henze. “Grandma lived there with her son (John) for years.” Anna Henze owned and lived on the farm until she died in 1969. Her son, John Henze, purchased 80 acres of the land in 1970 from her estate. The other 80 acres was purchased by a neighbor. Henze’s father (William and Anna Henze’s son), Bill, grew up on the farm, but left there early and spent his life in the Heron Lake, Minn. area with his wife, Ruth. That’s where Daryl Henze grew up as well.

Henze Farm Established: 1904 Generations: 3rd Township: Gillman Acres: 160 Awarded: 2015

“I never knew my grandfather, but I remember staying with Grandma for a week most summers, and I would run around the farm and play with the Huss kids across the road,” said Henze. “The Husses had a Shetland pony.” Henze said his father tells a story about an Armistice Day Blizzard in 1936. “He was helping a neighbor pick corn about half a mile down the road, and he started to walk home. By the time he got partway home, he couldn’t see — so he walked to the fence and went hand-over-hand down the fence line to get home,” he said. “He walked a little over half a mile home that way, and no one has ever disputed it.” Daryl Henze grew up in the Heron Lake area, and moved to the Des Moines area following his marriage. He worked as a CPA all of his working years, and he and his wife, Karyl, are now retired. John Henze left the 80 acres of century farm land that he owned to his five nieces and nephews, of which Daryl Henze was one.

-Farm News photo by Karen Schwaller

THIS CENTURY FARM ROCK was created and presented to Daryl and Karyl Henze as a gift, honoring the family’s legacy of land ownership over the past 115 years. The Henze family farm was deemed a century farm in 2015. Daryl Henze bought out the other four, and also purchased 40 acres of that piece from the neighbor who had owned it for a few years. Henze is still working on acquiring the last 40 acres of that tract, so the full 160 acres will be back within Henze family ownership. Today, all that remains of the building site is the house. But the

two children of Daryl and Karyl Henze turned a boulder into an honorarium to their ancestors, announcing the farm’s 100-year status within the family. The Henzes plan to hand that land down to their children. Neither of the children farm, but the Henzes hope the land will remain in the family for years to come.

“It would please me if (our other farms) would become century farms, too” he said. “It’s the legacy...the tradition of it. I love farm land, and often times (working as a CPA) I wonder if I should have farmed, but I didn’t. I love to go out and ride in the combine or run it. I’ve always loved being around it.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Palo Alto County

There’s no place like home LY KRNSK H DCENCAE

Fogarty Century Farm

RODMAN — Many will never understand the relationship between a farmer and his land. The sweat, blood, and hard work a farmer and his family put into making a living off the land and passing a legacy on from generation to generation. Five generations have lived and worked on the farm. Today, Jason King and his family, Beth, Nolan, Braylen, and Eldon, enjoy the rural Iowa lifestyle on the family farm. Daniel H. Fogarty and his son William P. Fogarty purchased 240 acres in Palo Alto County, Fern Valley Township, 2 miles north of Rodman, Feb. 22, 1919. They paid roughly $88.75 per acre, totaling $21,300. William P. Fogarty and his wife Lorena (Neary), lived on the farm and raised eight children. Pigs, chickens, and cattle were also raised on the farm and fed with oats, corn, and hay that were grown. In the summer, the cattle had fresh pasture grass to graze upon, rounding out the food chain for the inhabitants of the farm. The Fogarty family was about to get larger when William and Lorena’s son Keyron married Esteleen Schuller. Living in a small house on the same farm, Keyron and Esteleen “Esty” as most everyone knew her, raised their daughter Aletha on the same farm. Every family has memories of visiting their grandparents; Aletha

Established: 1919 Generations: 5th Township: Fern Valley Acres: 240 Awarded: 2019 King has a slightly different memory. “The thing I remember the most is living on the same farm as my grandparents,” King said. The last of the original buildings was taken down last year. Some of the boards were saved to make souvenirs for the family. Livestock raised today is cattle with a cow-calf herd. Corn, beans, and hay are grown, with pastureland for grazing. The crops are mainly to sell for profit today unlike 100 years ago when crops were grown to feed livestock. “I remember the thrashing crews,” Esty stated. “Neighboring farmers would get together and go to seven or more farms to thrash oats and the large crew always needed food.” At that time, it was the woman’s job to feed the hungry bunch. There was no running water, so a temporary wash station was set up with a basin, water, and towel for hungry men to wash some of the grit and field dirt off before sitting

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IN 1964, Keyron Fogarty used a four-row cultivator on his farm. Compared to the size of cultivators today, it took several days to a couple of weeks longer to do farming in 1964 than today.

at the table. According to Esty, nothing has ever equaled a threshermen’s dinner. The grandson’s, Jon, Jason and Joe — have memories of walking beans, baling hay, showing 4-H calves and climbing the silo as youngsters. Speaking of silos, Esty was a brave soul. Every year she would climb the silo and put a lighted

tree on top for Christmas. The tree could be seen for several miles. Later in life, Esty switched from the lighted tree on top of the silo to a lighted candle on the ladder. She continued this tradition into her 70s. She moved from the farm in 2002. The Fogarty Century Farm will be one of the Century and Heritage Farms to be awarded the des-


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ignation at the Iowa State Fair this year. On Aug. 15, during the Century Farms Ceremony, the Fogarty Century Farm will join the over 39,000 family farms that have received this designation since the program began in 1976. The program celebrates the traditions and heritage the family farms represents and upon which our state of Iowa was built.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Plymouth County

Farm built on family, faith, hard work LY OEySS RNBSAR

REMSEN – When Jim and Karen Krier’s farm turned 100 years old, they didn’t let the milestone slip by. They threw a party. And not a party for just their family, a few friends and neighbors; but a party for over 400 people. The party, which included a Catholic Mass service, was followed by a meal and fellowship. “Celebrating with family and friends meant the world to us,” said Karen Krier. “It was the most perfect, beautiful day.” The party was more than just a celebration of the family’s new Century Farm; it was also a celebration of life. Jim Krier had just undergone major heart surgery. “We also wanted to do it after Jim made it through a dangerous heart surgery,” she said. “Our son Steve also wanted to make sure we had the celebration.” The farm was purchased by Jim Krier’s great-great-grandfather, Peter Scharff. Scharff came to the United States from France and started out as a sheep rancher in Oregon. Jim Krier said his great-greatgrandfather came to Iowa for a while before returning to Oregon. He made enough money to return to Iowa and buy land in Remsen Township in Plymouth County. Scharff’s farm was typical of the early 1900s, raising corn and oats and it appears he was successful. “Peter was very aggressive — like a tycoon for buying land. He

Krier Family Farm Established: 1916 Generations: 4th Township: Remsen Acres: 160 Awarded: 2016 struck it at the right time,” said Jim Krier. What is unique is that most of that land still remains in the family. Next in line for the farm was Scharff’s daughter, Magdalen and her husband, Ollie Krier. Jim Krier said his great-grandparents didn’t live on what is now the Century Farm, but lived on a farmstead nearby. Their son, Ray and his wife Viola Krier took over the farm in the mid-1940s. Their farming operation was centered on their production of cattle, hogs, chicken and row crops. For a time, they raised flax. “It was a big crop like oats and corn,” said Jim Krier. “A lot of farmers had flax around here. It was a real money maker back then if you sold it at the right time, but it was a real mess — a miserable crop. It was really hard to combine flax.” Soybeans took the place of flax in the Krier’s farming operation sometime in the late 1950s, early 1960s.

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

KAREN AND JIM KRIER look over an album full of photos from their Century Farm celebration they held at their farm. The party included a Catholic Mass service, a meal and fellowship. Jim and Karen Krier became the fourth generation to take over their family’s Century Farm when they started farming in 1971. In addition to raising hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans, Jim Krier supplemented his farming income by operating a repair shop, working on mainly Internationals on their farm. The Kriers are looking forward to their son Steve Krier taking

over the farming operation someday. Currently Steve farms with his father. “Agriculture is the means to our existence and it’s my opinion that it’s the greatest industry to be involved in,” said Steve Krier. Krier said he is looking forward to being the fifth generation to continue on his family farm. “Being on a Century Farm to me, means being a part of something that is bigger than any one

of us,” Steve Krier said. “My ancestors before me had the ability and the intellect to start something that has lasted this long, and I should I be so lucky, I’ll be honored to carry the torch for my generation.” Steve Krier said there are a few things he can testify that has made the Krier Family Century Farm a success: family, faith, hard work Case IH equipment and Pioneer seed.


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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Pocahontas County

There’s value in tradition LY OEySS RNBSAR

POCAHONTAS – Genevieve Schoon said she and her late husband, Ernie, looked forward to the time when their farm would reach the status of Century Farm and they could apply for the award. All of that happened, but unfortunately, without Ernie. Schoon said her husband passed away in 2016, but she decided to honor him and the farm and received their family’s Century Farm award along with 12 other family members. “Ernie took pride in that he was able to be the third generation to keep the land in the family, the farm where he grew up,” she said. The farm, located 2 ¢ miles north of Palmer, was purchased by Ernie’s grandparents, Rolf and Etta Schoon. According to Schoon, Rolf came to America when he was 21 years old from Grossefehn, Germany, settling in Eureka, Illinois, in 1886. “Some say he came with 25 cents in his pocket,” she said. Rolf worked for a farmer in the Eureka, Illinois, area until 1909 when he had learned there was land in Iowa for sale. Schoon said he and his wife, Etta, made their way to Pocahontas County and purchased 160 acres and eventually moved their family and all of their possessions to their new farm. Around 1916, Rolf and Etta

Schoon Family Farms Established: 1916 Generations: 3rd Township: Lincoln Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018 bought seven, 80 acre farms in Section 22, 23 and 27 in Lincoln Township, one 80 acre piece for each of his children that they would eventually inherit. Schoon said to this day, six of those farms are still owned by family members. One of Rolf and Etta’s children, Egbert “Ed” Schoon, and his wife, Lizzie, would move onto their designated farm in 1938. Ed and Lizzie were parents to Schoon’s late husband, Ernie, and LeRoy Schoon. Schoon said their farm included a small two-story house, a barn, a crib and several other buildings. One of those buildings was referred to as “Ed’s shed.” This is where Ed would tinker and perform little repair jobs. “It was the type of shop where others had a hard time finding anything and Ed knew exactly where to find it,” she said. Schoon said Ed worked the fields and tended to the animals

while Lizzie cared for their two sons, the house, her garden and chickens. “You could go to her house anytime and she could prepare a meal,” she said. “She kept a nice farm house and the family was always neat and clean. She always said ‘soap and water don’t cost much.’” After Lizzie passed away, Ed remained on the farm for a few more years until he made the decision to retire and rent the farm out. By this time, both Ernie and LeRoy had already moved off of their family’s farm and started their own careers. “Neither of the sons were -Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson interested in farming,” said Schoon. “Ernie and I were married and living in Poca- GENEVIEVE SCHOON and her now late husband, Ernie looked forhontas with a good business, ward to the time they could apply and receive their Century Farm Schoon Tree Service. LeRoy award. was also married and had the business of Schoon Construction in Cherokee.” ing the land better,” she said. “He Schoon said she is pleased Although Ernie didn’t farm his planted a row of evergreens as a their tenant has cared for the land family’s ground, when the farm windbreak along the west side of and maintains those conservation was passed to him and LeRoy, he the farm to stop wind erosion. efforts. took the chance to buy his broth- More drainage tile was put into “A good tenant is a farm’s best er’s half. the ground in wet areas by our asset,” she said. “He wanted it to stay in the son Roger who is in the tiling Schoon said she hopes at least family,” she said. “He was proud business.” one of their four children will be to be the third generation to own A grass waterway, Schoon able to hold on to the family the land.” said, was also put in where the farm. Although Ernie’s parents had land had washed away and more “I would like to see one of made improvements to the build- recently, a buffer strip was put them buy it,” she said. “I would ings, they had done very little to along each side of the dredge that like for them to see the value. It’s the land, Schoon said. runs across the corner of the something to say about carrying “Ernie was interested in mak- property. on the tradition.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Polk County

Polk County Century Farm divided up for interstate progress OEySUyR TKRBNI CENyRNE Farm—News—Iowa—

Stall Family Farm

ELKHART — The Stall family farm has a different story to Established: 1906 tell as a Century Farm that was Generations: 3rd divided when the government built Interstate 35 through it. Township: Elkhart This rural Elkhart farm in Polk Acres: 87 County still boasts some of the Awarded: 2018 original buildings and 20-acre lots. An aerial photo that the family has clung to over the years reveals how the farm looked as construction of the interstate was just beginning. “The farmland was purchased in 1906 so we’re a little over 117 years old,” Del Stall said. “It’s still a working farm with a corn and bean rotation. I also have a cow-calf operation but I don’t have hogs anymore. There’s 75 acres left of the original farmstead where the house sits. They took about seven acres to make the interstate and put in an overpass.” Stall’s grandfather and greatuncle farmed together and he grew up in a home just to the west of the main house. His great-aunt and great-uncle lived in the main house until Stall and his family were able to move in. His kids helped farm while grow-Farm News photo by Kristin DanleyGreiner ing up and his sons and a daughter, Lillianna, regularly assist him DEL STALL holds an aerial with all aspects of the operation. photo of his family’s Century “She helps with the cattle and Farm. in the fields when she isn’t in


-Farm News photo by Kristin Danley-Greiner

THE STALL FAMILY FARM still has some of the original buildings including the main home. The Stalls have lost some of their original family farm when Interstate 35 was built. school,” Stall said. “She’s studying diesel mechanics at DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College).” Having watched agriculture evolve these past decades, Stall said it’s amazing to know that earlier farmers used horses. Today’s technology with farm

equipment is vastly different. “My granddad used to talk about using horses and when he switched over to a tractor,” Stall said. “But we do still have the same cattle barn from my granddad’s years. It just has new siding and a newer style roof. The house we live in was built in the late

1920s and holds a lot of memories, too.” Stall and his wife, Robyn, may live near the busy interstate, but their peaceful farm will always play an important role in Iowa’s ag industry even with cars zooming by after progress took a bite out of their property.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Sac County

Frank farm blends tradition with innovation LY TKEDI TAMCGNEUI H KMBSLI

AUBURN — More than 40 years ago, Jeff Frank faced one of the most pivotal decisions of his life. This 1977 Lake ViewAuburn High School graduate had an extraordinary opportunity to play college basketball, but there was something else — something big—influencing his choice. “Legendary coach Lute Olson had recruited me to play basketball at the University of Iowa,” said Frank, a 6-foot 8-inch standout on his high school basketball team. “But I had always wanted to farm, and my dad was offering me that option.” Frank chose to become the fourth generation of his family to farm in Sac County and didn’t look back. “I never regretted my decision,” said Frank, who lives on his fami-

Frank Century Farm Established: 1914 Generations: 4th Township: Sac Acres: 125 Awarded: 2015 ly’s Century Farm west of Auburn with his wife, Ellen. The Frank’s Century Farm dates back to 1914, when Frank’s maternal great-grandfather, Albert Mohr, purchased 125 acres for approximately $126 an acre. The odd acreage number reflects the fact that a spur from the Illinois Central railroad ran through the property for years. “As kids, we’d jump on the caboose and ride into Auburn,” said

Frank, whose father, Raymond, purchased the land from the railroad in 1974. Long before that purchase, however, the farm had passed from Mohr to his daughter Minnie and her husband, Fred Hess. “Even after my grandparents retired from farming and moved to Auburn, Grandpa Fred was always out here at the farm,” said Frank, whose parents, Marjorie (Hess) Frank and her husband, Raymond, moved to the farm in 1950. Frank loved growing up on the farm with his three brothers and one sister. “I couldn’t wait to get home from school. I remember driving my dad’s 1941 John Deere A as soon as I could push the clutch,” he said. After starting his own farming career full time and marrying Ellen, a fellow Sac County native, Frank began raising his own family in Sac County—just as the 1980s Farm Crisis intensified. “We didn’t have much when we started out, so we didn’t feel all the effects of the Farm Crisis,” said Frank, who raised his three sons on the farm. “I remember paying 18 to 19 percent interest when I had to buy a skid loader and a field cultivator. It just killed me, but what could I do?” -Submitted photo

SELLING DRONES from 2011 to 2017 made it easy for Jeff Frank to take his own aerial shots of his family’s farm, including this picture taken in 2013.

-Farm News photo by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby

JEFF FRANK chose to become the fourth generation of his family to farm in Sac County and didn’t look back. “I never regretted my decision,” said Frank, who lives on his family’s Century Farm west of Auburn with his wife, Ellen. After surviving the Farm Crisis, Frank continued to seek new opportunities in farming through the years. From 2011 to 2017 he sold Ag Eagle drones. “It was a lot of fun, and I got to meet a lot of farmers in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska,” he said. Starring in a movie called “Prove It To Me” about five years ago was also fun. The film featured farmers like Frank who use a liquid microbial product called Accomplish to boost their crop’s yield potential. “The film crew came from all over the country, and many had never been to Iowa before,” he said. “They couldn’t believe the wide

open spaces.” Sharing his knowledge, focusing on continuous improvement, promoting conservation and giving back are important to Frank, who farms approximately 1,300 acres of corn and soybeans and offers custom planting, spraying and harvesting services. He serves on the Sac County Farm Bureau board and is an Iowa Soybean Association director. He also started farming this year with his youngest son, Mitch, 22. “Farming is all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said Frank, whose family will have five Century Farms in Sac County within the next 10 years. “I love the rural lifestyle. There’s nothing like it.”


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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Sioux County

‘It’s in God’s hands’ LYOEySS RNBSAR

ALTON — After serving in World War I, Jacob Vande Griend settled near Alton in Sioux County on what is now the Kroeze family’s Century Farm. Allen and Donna Kroeze own a part of the land that Allen’s greatgrandfather purchased in 1917. The deed, however, shows more than Vande Griend’s name as the initial owner. Allen Kroeze said several family members are listed on the deed and assumes the group purchase must have been to assist his great-grandfather in acquiring the land. Vande Griend remained the owner of the farm until he sold it to his daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth (Vande Griend) and Harry Kroeze in 1934. Allen Kroeze said his grandparents owned the farm until his parents, Edward and Joyce Kroeze, purchased it in 1970. “They had lived and farmed here before they bought it,” said Kroeze. Edward and Joyce Kroeze’s farming operation consisted of a dairy, beef cows, hogs and chickens and they raised corn, alfalfa and oats and eventually soybeans. Kroeze believes the majority of his father’s farming was done by tractors, as he doesn’t recall many stories of them farming with horses. Growing up on the farm, Kroeze said he and his siblings were kept busy. “There were always chores,” he said. “We each had our own chores

Kroeze Family Farm Established: 1917 Generations: 4th Township: Holland Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018 to do. The girls worked inside and the boys were outside. There were six of us.” Kroeze said his mother was mainly in charge of the chickens, the garden and the housekeeping. She was known for her homemade bread and goodies. “Allen’s mom made bread one day a week and when Allen and his siblings got off of the bus they came home to amazing, fresh, warm cinnamon rolls,” said Donna Kroeze. “That is an unforgettable memory.” “We always had plenty of food with the garden, chickens and beef,” said Allen Kroeze, adding they were a self-sustaining farm for several years. “We never went hungry. We had everything we needed.” Donna Kroeze has memories of the seeing all of the colorful canned goods in the cellar her mother-inlaw would preserve from her garden. Allen and Donna Kroeze became the owners of 40 acres and the acreage in 1999. “It was our dream to live out here,” said Donna Kroeze. “Our kids were older, but we still en-

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

DONNA AND ALLEN KROEZE look over the deeds of their family farm that date back to 1917 when Allen Kroeze’s great-grandfather purchased the farm.

joyed raising them on the family farm.” Livestock remained a part of the Kroeze farm while Allen Kroeze custom fed cattle for a neighbor until 2007. Today, they maintain operation of the farm while operating a trucking company. The couple said they are making their family farm their home for the long haul. “We hope to stay on the farm for as long as we can,” said Donna

Kroeze. “We hope to one day retire and continue to enjoy the farm.” Her husband said they have been blessed to avoid any serious disasters, short of a collapsed machine shed roof from snow in 1979. “We had all of our equipment in there,” he said. “One tractor’s cab and a hood on another were damaged. The neighbors all came and helped us dig things out.” Operating and living on a farm doesn’t come easy.

“With grain and commodity prices you don’t have to have a cast iron stomach, but it would help,” said Kroeze. “When you say Kroeze family farm, it’s family and a lot of prayers. It’s not easy,” his wife added. What’s next for the Kroeze family farm? “Our future is unknown,” said Donna Kroeze. “It’s in God’s hands.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Story County

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A farm is more than landâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; LY OEySS RNBSAR

COLO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; For sisters Dona Cowman and Patricia Anderson, a shirt from the Iowa State University booth at the Iowa State Fair depicts how they feel about their familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Century Farm: â&#x20AC;&#x153;A farm is more than land and crops; it is a familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heritage and future.â&#x20AC;? Cowman and Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great-grandparents, John G. and Minnie Smith bought the farm near Colo in Story County on Feb. 28, 1908 after moving from the LaSalle/Peru area of Illinois. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never knew my great-grandfather, but I feel so blessed that he provided for me and I want to be able to pass it down to the next generation,â&#x20AC;? Cowman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the connection the farm that we do.â&#x20AC;? The Smiths assumed the mortgage from the previous owners and continued the current lease for that year. According to family history, the lease agreement was half the grain of corn and oats and a payment of $3.50 per acre for the pasture land. The Smiths lost a son, Herman at the age of seven and it was also at that time their other son, Gottlieb (Golly) was turning 18. Golly was Cowman and Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grandfather. Golly married Emma Bullock in 1913 and John G. and Minnie Smith moved back to Illinois and Golly and Emma took over the farm.

Smith Farm Established: 1908 Generations: 4th Township: New Albany Acres: 160 Awarded: 2012

Together they had two sons, Raymond Smith and Ralph Smith. Emma unfortunately passed away during the flu epidemic in 1918. It was at that time John G. and Minnie Smith returned to Iowa to help their son raise their two grandchildren, who were only four and 17 months at the time. Golly eventually remarried a woman, Marcella Jennett that not only would take in his boys, but had already been caring for two nieces. After Jennettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister-in-law passed away, she moved to Iowa to assist her brother in raising his daughter. Soon thereafter, another tragedy struck and a niece moved to Iowa to be under Jennetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s care as well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was a natural caretaker and she was the only grandmother I knew,â&#x20AC;? said Cowman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was the perfect example you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to give birth to be a mother.â&#x20AC;? Ralph Smith, Cowman and Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father married their mother, Dorothy in 1946. He had been renting the farm in the next

section and it was at that time Golly moved to town and Ralph, Dorothy and their first born son Tom moved to the farm. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tom lived there since he was one and the rest of us grew up there,â&#x20AC;? said Anderson. The farm meant a lot to their father. Anderson said their father was in Texas when he found out he had cancer and they had to go drive him back. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we got close, I told him we were almost home and he said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thank God.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; We think he was afraid he wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it back to the farm,â&#x20AC;? she said. Their father passed away on the farm. Ironically, the same place where he was born. Through a life estate from their parents, Ralph Smith and Raymond Smith inherited the farm and upon their deaths were given to each of their children. The farm would eventually be owned by 10 grandchildren in four different states. The division of the land was done in 2016. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dona and I requested we wanted the homestead part where the house and buildings had been,â&#x20AC;? said Anderson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is where we grew up.â&#x20AC;? There are a lot of memories on their home farm and even something that some may take for granted is what bring back those recollections â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the trees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the trees,â&#x20AC;? said Cowman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is the tree that we played under when we farmed. Those are


-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

PATRICIA ANDERSON, left and Dona Cowman stand by the sign they had made as a landmark on their Century Farm. Both images represent a part of their parents - the barn for their father and the pansy for their mother. the swing set trees. This is the tree that was in the calf pen.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just family. Memories. Heritage. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something that I can pass down to my boys,â&#x20AC;? said Anderson. Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son, Scott Anderson said he was fortunate, as a city kid to be able to come out and spend some time on the farm with his grandmother, Dorothy Smith.

He has memories of helping her garden and said he enjoyed the opportunities to experience some country life during his and his brother Robertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visits to the farm. Dorothy Smith was the right person to show her grandsons the farm life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mom was as much of a farmer as dad,â&#x20AC;? said Cowman.

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Rick Titus in His 44th Year of Selling and Installing More Efficient Fireplace Inserts & Vent Free Gas Logs! Rick Titus of Clarion started his business, called “The Country Store”, in 1975 and even though he has moved into town now, he has no intention of retiring any time soon. “I enjoy and love doing this,” said Titus. “I’ve covered every corner of the state because I’m an expert, and that is not meant as a boast. I don’t think anyone else in the state does exactly what I do.” What he does, is sell and install the Fuego Flame (brand name) fireplace insert, which he believes are the most efficient inserts on the market, for the money. However, it took him awhile to find out about that brand. “I was living in Littleton, Colorado, and came across a brochure for the Heatilator fireplaces, which were made at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa,” said Titus. “When we moved back here 3 years later, I decided I was going to call them and become a dealer.” Titus was soon displaying the units at county fairs and got some business. But then in checking back with his customers, to his amazement, he found out they were sending most of the heat up the chimney. “I then tried selling other brands of fireplaces like Preway, and Majestic and found they were no better. These were touted to be energy efficient, having fans and adjustable dampers, but they still were not burning like a wood stove, so I just kept looking. I was selling wood stoves, but not everyone wants a wood stove in their home. Then I found out about the Fuego Flame Fireplaces, which were as close to wood stove efficiency as you will find. This company made Zero Clearance fireplaces and also made four different sized inserts, so now I could offer my customers a super efficient fireplace, or install one of the inserts inside of their existing wood burning fireplace, no matter how large or small,” Titus said. But then it wasn’t long before he found a fireplace that has an unusual shape, like a two sided, or see-through, or arched opening, and these inserts would not fit. So he decided to just make the inserts from scratch to fit these unusual fireplaces. He even built an insert to fit a four sided fireplace for Bill Knapp In Des Moines. The Fuego Flame fireplace inserts can make any fireplace burn up to 70% efficient, and needs no electricity while keeping 99% of the heat in the home. It burns slow like a wood stove will, keeping the beauty of the fireplace’s overall appearance and fun of watching the fire. Once the insert is installed, the average

fireplace can heat 1,000 to 1,500 square feet of a well insulated home, while using 2/3 less wood, and protects the home from runaway fires. It can burn most of the night on just 3 or 4 hardwood logs, leaving you a nice bed of hot burning coals to ignite new logs come morning. “Some of my customers use the fireplace 24/7 all winter long, and rarely hear their furnace kick on. Thus they save a tremendous amount of fuel each month. These inserts literally pay for themselves by saving the customers fuel,” Titus says. The inserts are made using 12-guage steel, which Titus said transmits the heat quicker because it’s lighter. Cool air from the house enters underneath the insert, and is then circulated up the back of the fireplace with the heated air exiting out the top, all without the use of a fan. The temperature of the air coming off this insert varies from 200 to 1,000 degrees. Titus says, “You bake in your oven at 350, and you can feel that kind of heat coming out of the top of the fireplace’s heat opening. Most heat circulating fireplaces do not come close to putting out that kind of heat, for they send all their heat up the chimney. The Fuego Flame inserts are installed using an insulated ceiling, which prevents the stove heat from going up the fireplace’s chimney. The insert damper control is on the insert’s face plate, so you can close the doors and then close the damper. The inserts also burn with their damper 95% closed, thus making the wood burn nice and slow. The twin glass doors are made using ceramic glass, which will take 1,400 degrees temperature, so you never have to worry about breaking the glass with heat, and you get to enjoy watching the slow burning logs inside. These twin doors are easy to clean with very little effort. “Remember when you were a kid sitting around the campfire, or at a family reunion, how much fun it is to sit around the campfire! Well, you can have that same fun in your home with a real wood burning fire in your fireplace all winter long, and enjoy the romance of the flames; and everyone could use more romance, right! It is actually mesmerizing to watch the flames, and you don’t even have to say a word as you watch the fire. Now you can have the romantic comfort of a campfire and enjoy all that warmth in your home safely and efficiently,” said Titus. For those that can’t or don’t wish to burn wood, Titus offers super efficient gas logs as an option. He started selling those in 1991, and they offer the same nice flame effect, but without the work and

Photo by Les Houser, Wright County Monitor cleanup from real wood. “I’ve got people who bought a fireplace from me in the 70’s and 80’s that are now having me put gas logs in those same fireplaces,” said Titus. These gas logs are capable of heating up to 1,000 square feet of the average well insulated home, so if you have a power outage, these gas logs will keep you toasty warm, and keep the pipes from freezing in your home. Titus has covered a large area of the Midwest in his sales and installation travels. “I have built and installed units in fireplaces from Minneapolis to Kansas City and all over Iowa,” said Titus. “I’ve learned that if I go to a county fair, I get business from that area.” He also feels that word of mouth has been his best advertising, and that the personal attention he can offer gets the sales. “I do all the work myself,” said Titus. “I don’t even charge for estimates when I come into your home. I feel an in home visit is the only way I can know exactly what the customer needs.” Titus is also not afraid to tackle, or at least look at, any chimney problems including a cracked chimney. “I’ve fixed one of those many times for someone,” said Titus. “I installed a stainless steel liner inside the chimney and made it safe and efficient.” Titus explained that these inserts are not

like others that you can buy, and that it takes some time to install them. “This is not a quick fix job,” said Titus. I don’t just shove it into your existing fireplace, collect a check and leave. Most of the other inserts on the market make your fireplace look like it has a wood stove shoved into it, and they change the whole look of the fireplace by putting a big metal shroud around the insert. It takes me from six to eight hours to do this, but it will be done right and you’ll never need to do anything more with it.” Titus has even thought of people who like to cook food over a wood fire. “I’ve developed a barbecue grill that will fit inside there,” said Titus. “You can grill steaks or bake potatoes. It will work great for putting a dutch oven in the fireplace too.” Feel free to contact Rick at The Country Store for more information. You can call either 515-532-3881 or 515-293-2455, or visit his website at, or e-mail him at “We don’t know what the future holds for our electrical system in this country,” said Titus. “If someone wants to control us they could cut off the electricity, food supply, or disrupt our fuel. Everyone should have a way to heat their home without electricity.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Webster County

‘It’s been a good way of life’ LY OEySS RNBSAR

DUNCOMBE — The Carden family’s Century Farm could be considered a family affair with two generations taking part in ownership of the farm that was first purchased by their family in 1914. Bob Carden, the third generation, along with his daughter, Judi Crosley; his niece, Diane Richardson; and nephew, Dean Carden, are all part owners of the 80 acre farm located in Washington Township in Webster County. Bob Carden’s grandparents, Adelbert and Flora Snell, purchased the farm east of Duncombe, where he farmed and ran a threshing business for several years. Carden said his grandfather offered him the threshing machine and his Rumely tractor, but he denied the offer. “He sold it for iron and when the truck came to pick it up, it was too heavy and everything tipped over,” said Carden. “Now, I wished I could have kept it.” At the time, Adelbert Snell decided to quit farming he rented the out the land. Next in line to own the farm were Carden’s parents, Ward and Aileen (Snell) Carden. Although they farmed, they never farmed the now-Century Farm. Ward Carden got an early start to his farming career. “Dad started farming in the eighth grade to take over the farm after his dad died suddenly of a heart attack,” said Bob Carden. “He quit school to be able to take

Carden Farm Corp. Established: 1914 Generations: 3rd/4th Township: Washington Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018 care of the farm and his mother and sister.” While Carden’s dad never farmed the land that is now a Century Farm, that changed with the next generation. Carden said he and his brother Richard (Dean Carden and Diane Richardson’s father) started working on the family farm in the mid1950s. Although it is what their grandfather wanted, it was a tough move for him. “He (grandfather) wanted us to farm but he didn’t want to take it away from the farmer that had been farming it,” Carden said. “He had been a good renter for grandpa.” Together, the brothers raised corn, beans and some oats. Carden said he farmed until the early 1960s when he began working for United Cooperative. He continued to farm until his nephew Dean came back to the farm. Dean Carden came home from college, bought his Uncle Bob’s machinery and started farming with his father and helping with the Pioneer seed business that his grandfa-

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

BOB CARDEN, left and his nephew Dean Carden stand by their farm’s Century Farm award recently. The Carden’s family farm started back in 1914. ther had started in 1942. It’s a business the Carden family continues to operate today. “It’s been a good way of life,” said Dean Carden. “I have been very fortunate to be able to do it. My grandparents purchased it. They were able to keep it during the Depression. My dad and I went through the ‘80s . We are very fortunate and now the fifth generation is a part of the farm.”

Carden has two children; son Randy farms with him, and daughter Lori and her husband Jamie Kolbeck farm elsewhere. “Between my son and son-inlaw, there is hope they will continue to farm the family farm,” he said. Bob Carden recalls the tough times his parents went through during the Depression. “My folks had a tough time,” he

said. “They used their last 50 cents to pay their hired man.” Dean Carden said he took the time to apply for the Century Farm award for the purpose of honoring his legacy and to help make his family’s farm history known. “I did it for myself, my children and grandchildren so they knew it was a Century Farm,” he said. “For that future and out of respect for my uncle.”

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Woodbury County

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;They held the farm togetherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; LY OEySS RNBSAR

MOVILLE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Roy and Zada Rawsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first year on their new farm in 1918 was a profitable one. According to records the couple kept during that first year (as well as years to follow) they raised cows, lambs, sheep, hogs, and sows in addition to oats, corn and wheat. That first year showed they sold more than $5,000 worth of â&#x20AC;&#x153;stock and feed.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty good for 1918,â&#x20AC;? said Jana Martens, Roy and Zadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s granddaughter who, along with her husband, Calvin, lives on their familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Century Farm. Joyce Rawson, Martenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, is the current owner of the 80 acres that her father-inlaw and mother-in-law originally purchased. According to Rawson, Roy had grown up nearby and when it was time for him to go off on his own and farm, bought the land from a distant relative. Roy met Zada shortly after his land purchase, Rawson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was director of the country school and Zada came out to teach. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how they met,â&#x20AC;? she said. The couple lived in a small, one room building that eventually was converted over to a garage while they built the house that the Martens live in today. When the tough times of the Great Depression hit, Rawson

Hillcrest Farm Established: 1918 Generations: 2nd Township: Arlington Acres: 80 Awarded: 2018

said her in-laws did what they had to in order to survive. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Zada sold apples â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 50 cents a bushel, rhubarb, strawberries and more during the Great Depression. She worked hard. They did well until 1931,â&#x20AC;? she said. According to the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s records, 1931 was â&#x20AC;&#x153;a dry yearâ&#x20AC;? and there was â&#x20AC;&#x153;no corn.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;They held the farm together, a lot of them didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t,â&#x20AC;? she said. Rawson said her late husband, Dwight Rawson, started farming with his father after he returned from the service â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and soon thereafter changes were made. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grandpa farmed with horses and Dad didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like farming with horses so he bought the first tractor,â&#x20AC;? said Martens. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a John Deere tractor with steel wheels,â&#x20AC;? said Rawson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We converted it to rubber tires, but one year they had to put the steel wheels back on because of all that mud.â&#x20AC;? Dwight and Joyce were married in 1950 and lived just a 1 â&#x201E;˘ miles east of the home farm and built up their operation

there raising hogs, cattle and row crops. The Rawson family put their focus in to conservation early on by installing windbreaks and terraces. They continued to farm after Royâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death in the late 1950s and did so until they retired in the 1980s. Martens said she and her husband took over the farming operation for a while and moved on to their familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm, alongside Zada who had decided to stay on the farm after her husbandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death and tried to stay there as long as she could. Rawson and Martensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; said Zada was very active with the upkeep of the farm. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She last painted the barn in her 80s,â&#x20AC;? Rawson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She hated weeds. She would take her walker down to the waterways and cut weeds. She loved the farm and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to move off of it.â&#x20AC;? Zada was able to stay on the farm until she was 100. She passed away at 103. Rawson said she has respect for everything Roy and Zada did to purchase, keep and grow their family farm. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They put a lot of hard work in it,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a good life.â&#x20AC;? Martens is thrilled to be living on her familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Century Farm, although sometimes change can be a little hard â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love it,â&#x20AC;? she said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a changing landscape, however, there are trees being removed, those old cottonwood trees were

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson

JANA MARTENS and her mother Joyce Rawson look over records that date back to 1918 when Martensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grandparents, Roy and Zada Rawson, purchased their family farm. The Rawsons kept detailed records during their entire farming career. very stately, but it still has a lot of character.â&#x20AC;? The Rawson family made the day they received their Century Farm award a family event, including generations from the second to the fifth to accept the award at the Iowa State Fair.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that family that gives Rawson hope the family farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy will continue. In addition to Martens, Rawson has another daughter, Joy Kulow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll hopefully be passed on to family through my two daughters,â&#x20AC;? she said.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

Wright County

Heritage Farm history is both recalled and written LY DBKI UAR EI N

HUMBOLDT — When the history of a farm is being discussed, it doesn’t take very long before the discussion will shift to family history as the history of farms and families are very much entwined. The history is usually recollections of distant memories. Ron Collins farms the land owned by his family. He has memories that come easily about the time spent with his grandfather and father when he was growing up on the farm. Ron Collins’ grandmother, Adeline Collins, is 101 years old and lives in a nursing home in Iowa Falls. She also has many memories about the years she lived with husband Ralph on the

Collins Family Farm Established: 1876 Generations: 5th Township: Vernon Acres: 240 Awarded: 1976 farm until she left it in 2002. Ralph and Adeline were married in 1928. “We had everything,” said Adeline Collins. “Hogs, cattle, corn, beans, hay, chickens, and dairy cattle. It was lots of work. We had a good life on the farm.” Adeline Collins did not like the chickens. “They were smelly,” she said. However, her memories are not only from her own recollections but can be read in the various diaries she kept for many years. Adeline Collins was a disciplined person who believed there was a place for everything and everything in its place. Her discipline included writing her daily and her family’s daily activities in a diary that had a page for each day of the year with the page divided into fourths that allowed recording -Farm News photo by Clayton Rye

ADELINE COLLINS’ photo is when her family honored her on her 90th birthday. She is now 101.

four years of events on any particular day. Her diary from 1958 to 1962, for example, tells of going to town, family activities and health, weather, gardening, participation in community activities, and more. Warren Collins, Ron Collins’ greatgrandfather, was the second owner of the farm. He passed away in 1968, -Farm News photo by Clayton Rye but Ron Collins knew him when JODY AND RON COLLINS hold a photo of Ron’s grandfather Ralph who was he was alive. loyal to Allis-Chalmers. Ron Collins said his greatBryce Collins was Ralph and Collins. “He was big into feeder grandfather had purebred hog cattle and also had stock cows.” Adeline’s son and Ron’s father. lines he sold all over and owned Bryce Collins’ last crop on the Ron Collins started working for the bank in the nearby town of farm was in 2009. He was renting his dad and grandfather while in Popejoy. His great-grandfather was a very savvy business person, grade school and continued the ground from the family with son Ron doing the farming on a Warren Collins adopted Ralph, through high school. Bryce Collins continued the custom basis. Adeline’s husband and Ron’s Ron and his wife Jody continue grandfather, at a very young age. Collins’ farming practice of rais“It was almost at infancy,” said ing livestock. Bryce Collins and to rent the ground from the famihis wife Dora would drive to ly. Ron Collins. When Ron was still in school As the oldest grandchild, Ron western Nebraska and Wyoming buying cattle weighing 500 his grandfather Ralph would pick Collins got to spend the most time pounds and bring them back to him up from school early and take with his grandfather Ralph. Ron home to do farm work. “I spent a huge amount of time finish them. “His favorite thing to do was go “Grandpa would take me fishwith Grandpa Ralph,” said Ron out, cock his leg on the gate, and ing,” said Ron Collins. “Great Collins. “Every day was about the just look at the cattle,” said Ron memories.” farm and livestock”. ESTATE FARM EQUIPMENT AUCTION

7 miles E of Woolstock, IA on C70 (2339 330th St) Fri June 28, 10:30 AM • 1993 JD 4960 MFWD, power shift, 18-4-42 duals. engine overhaul, cost $22,240.82. 4498 hrs, • 1986 JD 4450 MFWD, quad, 18.4-38 duals, 6224 hrs. • 1961 3010 gas JD, synchro, 3 pt., NF • 2002 Hagie 2100 4 WD, 90’ 5 section boom, Cummins 5.9, Raven SCS 460, 2196 hrs. sold w/Star Fire ITC receiver, 1800 display, auto trac

• 2007 JD 9560 STS Bullet Rotor, Mauer ext.,30.5L-32, Contour Master, through shop, 1249/1766 hrs. • 30’ 2007 JD 630F platform, full fingered • 30’ Unverferth head trailer. • 1996 6-30 JD 693 poly corn hd, knife rolls, stock stompers • 500 J&M grain cart

• 2001 Freight Liner F180 twin screw, air ride, 3126 Cat 6, auto, 20’ Kann aluminum box w/60” sides & hoist, controls on back for hoist, 277,424 miles, nice • 12-30 JD 7200 Vac planter, finger trash whips • 12-30 IH 183 FF cult • Meridan 220 BST tandem seed tender, Honda. • 2018 JD MX15 Batwing rotary cutter -540RPM,

• 1997 JD 616 3 pt. rotary cutter • 5 shk JD 2700 5 disc ripper • 32’6” JD 980 field cult. • 10”X71’ Westfield w/truck hopper, hyd raise. • 10”X62’ Harvest International, hyd raise, truck hopper. • 4800 Parker 528 bus., • 300 Bradford & Killbros

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Profile for Newspaper

2019 Farm News Century Farms  

Published by Farm News

2019 Farm News Century Farms  

Published by Farm News