MORGAN — Sekapp Orchard of Rochester is being honored by the University of Minnesota as its Olmsted County Farm Family of the Year.
Sekapp Orchard is a family-run business and has been in operation for more than 50 years. The Kappauf family has owned the orchard since 1962, when it was purchased from the Dunn family. Ben Dunn was a horticulture teacher with Rochester Public Schools and much of the farm’s diversity today is said to be traceable to him.
Joyce and Ken Kappauf knew little about operating an orchard when they purchased it, but they thought it would be a good place to raise their four children.
The Kappaufs have planted several varieties of apple trees through the years and joined the Minnesota Apple Growers Association to continue their education as orchardists. There are now more than 7,000 apple trees of more than 25 varieties growing on Sekapp Orchard's 160 acres in Southeast Rochester.
The farm is operated by the Kappaufs’ son, Terrence (Fred), and his three children. Each spring the orchard employs up to 10 workers; in the fall, up to 30 people work to pick, wash and sell the apples.
The University of Minnesota recognizes one farm family from each county as part of Farmfest activities near Morgan. This year's families will be recognized as part of today's events.
Local county Extension committees select the families.