MARSHALL – The 2023 Farm Family of the Year ceremony will be held at FarmFest on Thursday, August 3rd at 1:15 p.m. in the Wick Buildings FarmFest Center. According to the University of Minnesota, this is the first time in recent memory that all 87 counties will be represented at the ceremony.
Farm families that will be honored cover a wide variety of farming, from traditional crops and livestock to community-based ventures focused on organics and traditional native foods. University of Minnesota Extension committees make their decision based on their demonstrated commitment to enhancing and supporting agriculture. The complete list of farm families being honored can be found here.
Area Farm Families include:
Loran and Heidi Sellner and Family
Sellner Dairy was homesteaded in 1858 by Loran’s great-great-grandfather, Hubert Zander, who emigrated from Prussia. The farm has since been handed down through generations with Loran’s mother, Grace Zander Sellner, being the only woman to inherit the farm. Loran and Heidi were married in 1992 and took over the operation a year later. Loran and Heidi have tripled the size of the farm’s dairy herd. In 2000, the Sellners built a new free-stall barn and parlor. After 15 years of needing non-family labor, finding quality employees became a challenge, which led Loran and Heidi to investigate transitioning to robotic milking. In 2016, the Sellners installed three A4 Lely robots to milk their cows.
Sellner Dairy is a 200-cow robotic operation with 175 heifers. Bull calves are sold at three to seven days. The Sellners also farm 300 acres of cropland, raising most of the feed needs of their herd. Crops include corn, corn silage, alfalfa and soybeans.
Loran oversees all aspects of the farm, including the operation of the milkers and the herd reproduction program. Heidi takes care of the baby calves, young stock, close up cows, and the farm’s financials. Heidi also works for the Minnesota Dairy Initiative Program. The Sellners’ youngest daughter, Gracie, helps her mom with the livestock and hauls loads and racks hay. Gracie will be a freshman at South Dakota State University this fall majoring in ag education with a minor in animal science. The Sellners’ other children, Adam and Maggie, have full-time jobs off the farm but come back to help with harvest. Adam and his wife, Haylee, live in New Ulm. Maggie and her fiancé, Tyler Kohout, will be getting married on the farm on August 5.
The Sellners are very involved in the Brown County 4-H program and have served on the boards of the Brown County American Dairy Association and the Holstein Association. The Sellner children have all participated in the Sleepy Eye FFA chapter. Maggie was Brown County Dairy Princess in 2014 and Gracie is a current Brown County Dairy Princess. Heidi served on the Brown County Extension Committee and Loran coached Stark Bi County baseball.
Brothers Gary and Rick Macziewski started farming with their father, Richard, in the 1970s. Gary and Rick continue to farm today along with Rick’s sons. The family grows corn, soybeans and sugar beets. Rick has also sold seed for the past 35 years. In their spare time, Rick, Gary and their sons enjoy hunting and fishing.
Many Macziewski family members are involved in the operation. Rick and Sandy, Gary, Andy and Amy, Tim and Diana, and Dan. Sam and Shelly Aalfs help during the busy harvest season, as do Brad and Wendy Caldwell.
The Macziewski family participates in the Chippewa County Fair, and are members of the Chippewa County Corn and Soybean Growers Association, and Chippewa County Pheasants Forever.
The Klassen family farm was established in 1941 when Frank and Adelaine purchased the farm on July 5, 1941. During their time on the farm, they raised four children: Joyce (Klassen) Smith, Loren Klassen, Carol (Klassen) Carlson and Arlen Klassen.
Throughout the years, Frank and Adeline raised crops and some livestock. In the beginning, they had milk cows, chickens and feeder pigs. They enjoyed 40 years on the farm before moving to town.
On May 5, 1981, Frank and Adeline’s son Arlen and his wife, Cindy, took over the farm. Together, they raised their four children: Trista (Klassen) Schuette, Tyler Klassen, Jason Klassen and Alyssa (Klassen) DeFrance. The ’80s and ’90s were challenging years for the Klassens. The farm wouldn’t be here today without the help of family, friends and great landlords. Arlen, Tyler, and Arlen’s older brother, Loren, farm together, sharing equipment. They raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Arlen and Tyler had a cow-calf herd together until recently when Arlen sold his portion off to Tyler. When they expanded their herd, they organized rotational grazing on the farm.
Throughout the years of living on the farm, Arlen served on various boards. He served on the church board, cattleman’s board, the local co-op board and Farm Bureau board. Cindy spent her time tending to the garden, raising their kids, delivering countless meals, helping transport the guys from field to field and spending lots of time with their five grandkids: Collin, Lincoln, Josie, Hayden and Sully. Arlen and Cindy have enjoyed 42 years on the farm.
Tyler, Katya and their son, Hayden, plan to buy the Klassen farm to continue making great memories with the family and to pass it on to the next generation when the time comes. Tyler farms full-time, and Katya works in town as a bookkeeper for her family’s farm operation. Tyler served on the cattleman’s board for six years. Together, they enjoy traveling and spending time with their one-year-old son. They feel honored and excited to continue with the family farm for years to come.
Mark and Peggy Edlin
Mark and Peggy started farming on Mark’s late grandparents’ farm south of Jackson in 1993. They farmed with Mark’s parents, William and Nancy. Mark and Peggy started their own family farm business called Edlin Greenhouse in 1999, on the family’s Century Farm, along with their two children, Kyle and Megan. In addition to corn and soybeans grown on the farm, the Edlins sold vegetables and flowers at the Lakes Area Farmers Market for about 15 years. During that time Mark was a co-manager of the market.
In 2009, Mark’s father passed away; Nancy continued to farm with Mark and Peggy. Nancy is very involved in the operation and helps with the greenhouse in the spring. Mark’s two brothers, Carl and Eric, along with their families, are involved in the family farming operation as well–both brothers have off-farm jobs. In addition to farming, Mark and Peggy continue to operate their spring seasonal greenhouse, Edlin Greenhouse.
Mark and Peggy’s son, Kyle, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017. Kyle farms with his parents and manages the greenhouse with Peggy. The couple’s daughter, Megan, graduated from Allen College’s nursing program. Megan lives in Sioux Falls with her fiancé, Andy Abens, and helps on the farm and in the greenhouse when she can.
Mark and Peggy are always willing to help their local 4-H and FFA. In the spring the Edlins help their local FFA chapter at their school’s greenhouse. Mark served for 13 years on the FCA board and currently is a township supervisor. He likes to restore antique tractors and gas engines. Peggy enjoys golf, gardening, and watching Vikings games with her family.
Larson Family – MNyou Youth Garden
MNyou is a youth-led CSA program working to address food insecurity in west central Minnesota. MNyou started in 2016 as a youth training program. Training focuses on small-scale farming practices. The organization moved to its current location in 2018. Organizers and youth built two hoop houses and a deep winter greenhouse on the land owned by Brent and Deb Larson. 30 young people work and train on the farm every growing season. Youth typically work up to 20 hours a week and are paid for their training.
The farm follows market garden principles. Youth are trained in seedling management, pest management, transplanting, harvesting, packaging, hoop house, and greenhouse management, sales and marketing.
The Larsons’ son, Ben, is the manager of the farm which includes about three-quarters of an acre of vegetables. Produce is sold through a CSA and at local farmers’ markets. Half the produce from the garden is donated to food-insecure families and individuals.
Seedlings are started on the farm in March. The young plants begin to hit the ground on May 1 and the team plants all the way through August. Weekly, from mid-June to mid-October the youth are harvesting for the CSA and farmers markets. By mid-summer, MNyou has up to 20 different crops ready for harvest.
While Ben handles the management of the farm, Brent oversees market management and youth training. Deb is also involved in youth training and manages the farm’s product packaging.
The Larsons are involved in community advocacy around food policy. The family helped start a farmers market focused on giving new and emerging farmers a market.
Lac qui Parle County
Jerry and Hollie Thompson family
Jerry and Hollie’s farm has been in the family since the mid-1940s. Hollie’s grandparents, Ray and Inez Strom, moved their Sears, Roebuck & Co. house onto the property and enjoyed over 60 years together on the farm. Ray and Inez loved to hold an annual threshing bee to show their community how harvest was done many years before.
In 2008, Jerry and Hollie moved from Marshall to a farm near Dawson with Hollie’s father, Roger Strom. At that time, the farm consisted of a steady rotation of corn, soybean and wheat.
Two years later, Jerry and Hollie purchased the 80 acres that had belonged to Hollie’s grandparents. Then, after much discussion with neighbors and mentors, Jon and Sue Roison, the Thompson family added two acres of grapevines to the farm. Two years later, the family added five more acres of grapes.
The Thompsons then went through a long process of trying to decide a name for their new vineyard and Jerry came up with the idea of “3B Vineyard”. “3B” comes from the names of their three sons: Braxton, Braden and Blake.
Seven varieties of grapes are currently growing in the Thompsons’ vineyard. The wine grapes are sold to Grandview Valley Winery of Belview and Chankaska Creek Ranch Winery of Kasota. Somerset table grapes are sold to schools and individuals via Facebook. Local school kids love field trips to the farm where they can pick and eat the grapes. King of the North grapes is featured in the family’s homemade jelly, grape lemonade, and mulled grape cider. The Thompsons love sharing their products with their community at the county fair and local craft fairs.
There is a lot of work managing grapevines. The work continues in winter when significant skill is needed to properly prune the vines. In addition, to help from their sons, Jerry and Hollie receive help from Dean and Liz Olson and Scott Knutson of Minnesota.
Owning and operating a seven-acre vineyard is not an easy undertaking, but the Thompson find it enjoyable working and making memories alongside friends and family.
Kelly and Nancy Krog and Family
Kelly and Nancy are the third generation to farm the family’s farm which was originally purchased in 1954 by Nancy’s grandparents, Ernie and Lee Richmond. In 2002, Kelly and Nancy purchased the farm that sits 3.5 miles north of Arco in Lake Stay Township. They both come from farm backgrounds and enjoy the gift of rural life. They appreciate the value of farming and the ability to include their children in the operation.
The Krogs grow corn and soybeans on 2,000 acres. They have been running a corn and soybean seed business, Krog Seed Sales, since 2009. The family enjoys all the business relationships they’ve developed with area farmers.
Kelly and Nancy raised three daughters on the farm. Their oldest, Jennifer, works for Panka Insurance in Ivanhoe and is married to her high school sweetheart, Alex Pohlen. Jenny and Alex are joining the seed and farming operation and will be the fourth generation of the family to work on the family farm. The Krogs’ middle daughter, Molly, will graduate with a marketing degree from the University of South Alabama in the spring of 2024. Their youngest daughter, Megan, will be a freshman at South Dakota State University this fall studying ag business.
The girls have all been involved in the operation since they were young. They learned the joys of picking rocks, cutting ditch hay, hauling hay, running the grain cart, going on parts runs and other day-to-day activities. Kelly and Nancy have enjoyed working together as farming partners and look forward to seeing how the farm will grow with future generations.
The Krog girls have been involved in 4-H for many years. Their favorite project was raising and showing their Boer goats. Kelly has served on the Lake Benton Elevator Board and church council. He is currently on the Lincoln County Fair Board and a member of the Lincoln County Corn and Soybean Growers Association. Since 2014, Kelly has been a volunteer with Farm Rescue, an organization that helps farm families in crisis. Through this program, he’s had the opportunity to harvest wheat in North Dakota and haul hay to ranchers in South Dakota and has met many new people in the process.
Brad Bossuyt operates a small hobby farm in southwest Minnesota’s Lyon County. The farm has been home to goats that are raised for 4-H projects for kids in the family and that are sold at various club sales.
Currently, several steers are raised for personal use and by family members. The farm is home to about 20 goats and a couple of donkeys.
Brad’s sons, Anthony and Colin, have been big helpers around the farm since they could walk—feeding animals and taking care of babies.
Brad was involved in a very serious farm accident in November 2021. He lost part of a leg after being pinned between a tractor and a large round bale. After about 12 hours, he was found by a neighbor and rescued by first responders. Brad has fought diligently over the past year-and-a-half and has overcome many obstacles. He continues to be very grateful for the work of health professionals and all the support he’s received from friends, family and his community.
Brad was a member of 4-H in his youth. As an adult, he helped his boys and any other 4-H member who needed assistance. Brad has served as the Lyon County Fair goat superintendent for 10 years and continues to serve with the Cottonwood Fire Department. He’s been part of the fire department for 28 years.
The Peters family farm was established in 1886 in southern Minnesota’s Martin County. The farm received its Century Farm recognition in 1986.
Prior to Tony and Dannielle moving to the farm, Tony’s grandparents, Willard and Jean, lived on the farm. Before that, Willard’s parents, Paul and Martha and grandparents, Carl and Lina lived there. Willard and Jean raised four kids while crop farming and raising laying hens. They did so for many years. Dannielle is from a farming family herself. Her grandparents, George and Mavis Coners, farmed near Mountain Lake before relocating to Hendricks.
The Peterses operated the Sherburn Greenhouse which sold only evergreen trees. They housed trees on the farm in an underground storage building that resided in their grove. Cattle were a part of the operation on the farm in its earlier years. Willard had an ag business in Fairmont for years, sold seed, and graded township roads.
Doug has carried on farming, township road grading, and raising hogs. His son, Tony, took up crop farming, and township road grading and started up a custom hog manure application business when he saw the need for it over 15 years ago.
The family grows corn and soybeans and runs a custom hog manure operation. All family members are involved, each having their own ground and working as a team to accomplish planting and harvesting.
Tony and his wife, Dannielle, run the farm along with Tony’s parents, Doug and Donna. Tony and Dannielle’s four children are young but offer help where they can.
The Peters family is involved in 4-H and are members of the Sherburn Cemetery Board.
Loncorich Family Farms LLC
Loncorich Family Farms of Stewart started over 40 years ago when Mike, the son of cash crop farmers Leonard and Frances (Decker) Loncorich, married Barb Trettin. Mike and Leonard farmed together, and Mike and Barb also had a few feeder cattle, sheep and chickens. Barb also worked off the farm and Mike was a mail carrier.
The Loncoriches grow corn, soybeans and a small amount of wheat. In 2017, they started raising Holstein bottle calves that they get from local dairy farms, and they bought their first registered Angus cows. The Loncoriches raise all their calves from birth to finish. The Holsteins are sold at the market while the Angus are sold as freezer beef to local families/customers.
The family uses precision agriculture. It gives them the ability to efficiently use seeds, fertilizer and chemicals without polluting the environment. They also have land in CRP.
Loncorich Family Farms consists of Mike and Barb; their son Dean and his wife, Stephanie, along with their children Olivia, Dalen and Landon are part of the daily operation. Daughter Laura and her husband, Greg Kaiser, both work in the medical field. Their children are Taylor, Whitney and Grady. Mike and Barb’s son Scott and wife Bethany and their boys, Wyatt and Austin, are also part of the daily operation of the farm.
Dean and Stephanie’s family are involved in 4-H, FFA, Boy Scouts, church/Sunday school and youth group. Stephanie is a dental hygienist. The kids help on the farm and show cattle. Scott, Bethany and the boys have started 4-H. Bethany works as a crop adjuster and is on the board for Noah’s Ark Preschool. Mike and Barb live on the Loncorich family home farm. Barb continues to work off the farm, helping when available.
The family also enjoys camping, fishing and hunting together.
Todd and Joan Miller Family
Todd and Joan Miller’s farm is a first-generation farm the couple started together in 1999. Over the years, the operation has changed from cattle finishing and swine finishing to a cash crop business growing corn and soybeans. The Millers also own T & J Trucking of Balaton and T & J Truck Wash. Todd hauls livestock, grain and fertilizer for local producers.
Todd and Joan currently own and operate the farming operation with limited outside help. They hire three non-family members to help with tillage, planting, harvesting, and hauling. The Millers own 435 acres as well as cash rent and share rent on their remaining 2,800 acres. Todd also does custom farming for neighbors.
Todd and Joan have three teenage daughters who help on the farm in a variety of ways. Casey will continue her education this fall at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington. Kelli will be a junior in high school and Katherine will be a freshman this fall. Todd is the mental and physical laborer on the farm and makes the operation run smoothly and successfully. Joan does the bookkeeping and helps run equipment, runs for parts, meals, rides and whatever else needs to be done.
Todd and Joan are members of the Skandia Free Church in rural Balaton. They are members of the Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers Association and the Murray County Cattlemen. Joan is also a county committee member for the Murray County FSA.
Tom and Joyce Soderholm
The Soderholm family farm has operated in Elk Township in southwest Minnesota’s Nobles County since the 1890s. Five generations of the family have farmed the land. The farm has always been a crop and livestock operation. In the 1940s, there was a registered Black Angus herd that lasted for more than 30 years. The present farm includes Tom and Joyce, along with Tom’s brothers and nephews who raise hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans. The farm consists of family and individual-owned land. Some land that is worked by the Soderholm family is rented and some is custom farmed.
Tom and Joyce have three married daughters and sons-in-law: Kari and Chad Buendorf, Jennifer and Dave Marcotte, Courtney Soderholm-Storlie, and her husband Ben Storlie. All the Soderholm daughters were active in 4-H growing up at the local, regional, and state levels. Tom and Joyce met through 4-H.
Tom and Joyce have eight grandchildren: Devin, Kia, Ethan, Piper, Jack, Tate, Lilian and Olivia. The grandchildren love to help their grandpa on the farm.
Tom is a Nobles County Farm Bureau board member and serves on the Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee. He helped to start the local Ag in the Classroom effort. Tom served on the Producers Livestock Board for 15 years. Joyce has been a 4-H leader and chair of the Interstate Exchange Program. She’s been a judge for a variety of state and local competitions including the Minnesota State Fair. She is very active in the family’s church, serving on many committees, and has taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Joyce serves on the board of the local hospital auxiliary, volunteers at the cancer center, as a lobby hostess, and assembles “New Mother” bags. She delivers Meals on Wheels, provides rides for the elderly in the community, and sews infant Christmas stockings for newborns. She also participates in several neighborhood clubs and projects. Joyce does a great deal of parts-running, banking, and record-keeping and provides lots of meals for the crew, especially in the spring and fall.
Tom and Joyce are very proud grandparents!
Mike and Cyndy Baustian Family
Mike and Cyndy started farming in 1979 with nothing in their name. In 1985, their current farm came up for sale and the couple took the plunge and purchased the farm. A prominent attorney the Baustians were renting from wished the couple good luck and told them the previous three owners all went broke. With that advice, Mike and Cyndy studied the previous owners’ business models and did everything they could not to follow in the previous owners’ footsteps.
In 1994, the Baustians joined the Pipestone System and have been raising pigs ever since. In 2009, the family started raising baby Holstein calves with their son, Erik. Today, with Erik’s management, the family feeds only Black Angus steers.
The Baustians feed wean-to-finish pigs that come from Pipestone managed sow farms. The family gets help from valuable team members without whom the Baustians say the farm would not function. The cattle side of the operation is managed by Erik and his two employees. Erik owns two-thirds of the cattle business, and Mike and Cyndy own one-third. Cyndy walks the cattle pens daily and serves as the farm’s house vet.
Mike and Cyndy do pig and cattle chores every day. Eric and his wife, Brittany, have four girls and manage the cattle farm.
Mike is the current mayor of Jasper. He was a councilman before serving as mayor. The Baustians have been involved in the local and state pork producer associations, Cyndy taught Sunday school for many years, and always helps with Vacation Bible School at the family’s church. Erik is a member of the Pipestone County Cattlemen’s Association.
Kerkhoff Cattle Company
Kerkhoff Cattle Company is a fourth-generation family farm in Redwood County. Butch Kerkhoff took over feeding about 400 head in 1965 after the passing of his father. Butch grew his feeding operation to 1,700 capacity in 1994. In 2003, his son, Brandon, graduated from South Dakota State University and returned home to farm. Over the next decade, the family expanded their cattle operation.
Currently, the Kerkhoffs finish 7,500 head annually while farming 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans. The family feeds primarily black steers weighing 800 to 1,000 pounds that originate from South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota. Kerkhoff Cattle Company has three full-time employees and five to six seasonal employees that help in the spring and fall. The farm’s employees are like family and the Kerkhoffs say they couldn’t operate without their help.
Brandon is the owner of the feedlot and his wife, Casey, handles office and bookwork. The couple has three children: Grady, Veda and Westin. Butch handles much of the trucking and serves as a consultant. Butch’s wife, Sally, also helps with office and bookwork.
Brandon and Casey help coordinate and coach a variety of sports their kids are involved in. They are members of the Cedar Mountain Booster Club. They’ve also participated in Ridgewater College ag internships over the years. Brandon and Grady work at the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association’s tent at Farmfest and are members of the group. Butch and Brandon are also members of the Redwood Area Cattlemen Association and Brandon was chosen as the RACA Cattleman of the Year in 2015. Kerkhoff Cattle Company was one of the stops on the state cattlemen tour in 2014. Brandon is a member of the local Jaycees.
Philip and Robin Smith
Philip and Robin Smith have been farming since 1980 and currently own and operate the land that was homesteaded by Philip’s great-great-grandparents in 1868. The couple raised their family of four daughters on the farm.
Over the years, the Smiths grew corn, soybeans and small grains. They also raised alfalfa in the past when the family had sheep, cattle, and chickens. Since 1997, the Smiths have owned a seed business located in Sacred Heart with another location in Bird Island added in 2013. Robin has operated a cleaning business in the area for over 30 years.
The family’s current farm includes 800 acres of corn, soybeans and winter cereal rye. Over the past five years, the farm has been converted into a regenerative farm that focuses on soil health, conservation, stewardship, and a healthy ecosystem. The operation is all no-till and includes extensive use of year-round cover crops.
Philip and Robin are the farm’s owners and operators. Their daughters helped extensively as they grew up on the farm handling tasks that included baling hay, moving livestock and livestock chores, and other grain farming duties.
The Smith’s eldest daughter Heather and her husband, Brad Bigler, live in Marshall. Daughter Sarah and her husband, Taylor Huseby, live in Sacred Heart. The Smiths’ daughter Heidi and her husband, Justin Harer, farm near Gettysburg, S.D., and daughter Sally and her husband, Ryan Gniffke, farm near Hanley Falls. Philip and Robin have 14 grandchildren and are hopeful one or more of them will continue with the tradition and heritage of the farm. Phillip’s parents, Darrel and Camille, also help on the farm in the spring and fall.
The Smiths are very involved in their community. Philip is vice president of the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation Board and serves on the stewardship committee of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. In the past, he has devoted his time to the Sacred Heart Jaycees and the BDRSH/RCW school board. Philip is a public speaker with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Robin has been involved in the Sacred Heart Women’s Club and the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Smiths contribute their time and energy to promoting regenerative agriculture and the production of nutrient-dense food.
Justin Moss’ grandfather moved from Carmel, Iowa to farm north of Luverne in the 1950s, he started milking cows and raising pigs and chickens. Justin’s grandparents raised six children on the farm. The family milked cows in a tie-stall barn and later built a parlor and free-stall barn milking 150 cows. Justin’s father, Jake, and his Uncle Neal, now run the farm with Justin.
The Mosses milk 600 Holsteins three times a day in a double twelve-parallel parlor. The family raises all their own replacement heifers. They also grow about 500 acres of corn for silage and 120 acres of alfalfa. The Mosses have 200 acres of pasture where their heifers are grazed each summer.
Neal and his wife, Char, handle all the farm’s bookwork and payroll. Jake and Cheryl are Justin’s parents. Jake takes care of all the feeding. Justin takes care of the baby calves and oversees the health of the cows. He and his wife, Daci, have four children: Brooklynn, Makenna, Zachary, and Tage. They all help when they are needed and not in school.
Jake and Cheryl have been on the American Dairy Association board for many years, promoting the dairy industry. Jake is also on his church council as an elder. Justin is involved in a church boys’ program called the Cadets. He’s also president of the Pipestone/Rock Dairy Herd Improvement Association.
Tom and Jada Steinle are the fourth generation of family farmers to maintain the home farm that serves as Steinle Farms, Inc.’s headquarters. While the building site has undergone several transformations since Tom’s great-grandmother homesteaded it in 1889, the grain operation continues to stay true to the themes of faith, teamwork and flexibility. Today, Steinle Farms implements time-tested techniques in its corn/soybean rotation, with an emphasis on land stewardship.
While Tom and his father, Lauren, and Dan Steinle (Tom’s uncle) are the current shareholders of the company, it is truly a family farm. R.J. “Stub” Steinle, Larry Steinle, and Timothy Steinle (brothers to Lauren and Dan) continue to help in retirement, and Tom’s younger brother Joe also enjoys contributing to the operation. Tom’s many cousins and siblings remember rock-picking, bean-riding—or walking—and playing basketball in the haymow of the big red barn.
The family divides its time helping at church, enjoying family, or farming. Tom, Lauren and Dan are familiar faces at the Butterfield Threshing Bee, where they historically operate the people movers. Other community involvement includes Dan’s service on the Watonwan County FSA board and Lauren’s service on the Butterfield-Odin school board, as well as their involvement as board members and officers of the First Mennonite Church North of Butterfield.
Tom and Jada are raising the fifth generation — Adyson, Aubrey, Owyn and Ethyn. Tom enjoys coaching basketball, and the family attends the St. James Catholic Church.
YELLOW MEDICINE COUNTY
Rangaard Family Farms was established in 1946 by Roy and Lorna Rangaard. Their sons, Curt and Gordy along with their brother, Gary, helped their parents milk cows, raise black Angus cattle, gather chicken eggs and farm grain and alfalfa. Currently, Curt and his wife, Marilyn, along with Gordy and his wife, Darlyce, continue to farm the land with a corn and soybean rotation. The Rangaards also raise Angus cattle and pigs.
Curt and Marilyn were in 4-H in their youth. Today, they stay busy farming and Curt also runs Rangaard Truck Company. Their children, Lisa and Brian, were also in 4-H. They both showed cattle and pigs. Brian and his wife, Lori, have three children, Kyla, Aliyah and Ty, who are involved in the Oshkosh Wide Awakes 4-H Club. Brian is employed by Ag Plus Cooperative as an agronomist. He also raises cattle on the family’s farm.
Gordy and his wife, Darlyce, have three children: Sheila, Linda and Jeremy, who were members of the YMC Hammer Highlights and Oshkosh Wide Awakes 4-H clubs where they showed cattle, pigs, gardening, and food. Jeremy still helps on the farm with planting and fall tillage.
Gordy spent many years on the Yellow Medicine County Fair Board and the Norman Township Board. He’s retired from the county highway department.
Darlyce volunteers as Yellow Medicine County Fair judge and with the “Chef for a Day” cookoff. She is a Friend of 4-H. Darlyce retired from University of Minnesota Extension where she served as a SNAP Educator and promoted Farm to Fork in schools and farmers markets.